Clare Beams at Women's National Book Association

  • Towne Book Center & Cafe 220 Plaza Drive Collegeville, PA, 19426 United States

We Show What We Have Learned & Other Stories

Joyce Carol Oates calls debut author Clare Beams “wickedly sharp-eyed, wholly unpredictable . . . a female/feminist voice for the twenty-first century.”

The literary, historic, and fantastic collide in these wise and exquisitely unsettling stories. From bewildering assemblies in school auditoriums to the murky waters of a Depression-era health resort, Beams’s landscapes are tinged with otherworldliness, and her characters’ desires stretch the limits of reality. Ingénues at a boarding school bind themselves to their headmaster’s vision of perfection; a nineteenth-century landscape architect embarks on his first major project, but finds the terrain of class and power intractable; a bride glimpses her husband’s past when she wears his World War II parachute as a gown; and a teacher comes undone in front of her astonished fifth graders.

As they capture the strangeness of being human, the stories in We Show What We Have Learned reveal Clare Beams’s rare and capacious imagination—and yet they are grounded in emotional complexity, illuminating the ways we attempt to transform ourselves, our surroundings, and each other.

For more information, contact: 

Women's National Book Association
Greater Philadelphia Chapter
Towne Book Center & Cafe
Providence Town Center
220 Plaza Dr. #B-3
Collegeville, PA 19426