If you find yourself at the busy intersections of Euclid, Moreland and McLendon Avenues in Atlanta, better known as Little Five Points, you might think you have traveled back in time and are visiting San Francisco's Haight Street in 1969. Fear not, you won't hear Rod Serling's voice talking about you or the little trip you're on. What you will find though is a neighborhood that just decided to go its own way, and that way is very cool indeed.
Not only will you find fabulous restaurants like the Vortex
and cool places to shop like Junkman's Daughter,
but also, tucked away just off the major intersection, you'll find a charming lavender house, better known as
Charis Books and More. In Greek mythology, a Charis, pronounced [kʰáris]) is one of several Charites; goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility. They ordinarily numbered three, from youngest to oldest: Aglaea ("Splendor"),Euphrosyne ("Mirth"), and Thalia ("Good Cheer"). Charis Books embodies all of those wonderful attributes. This is how they told the world who they are on their last anniversary:
We will be celebrating 36 years of feminist bookselling this fall and we are always celebrating our stories. These stories are written in poetry, biography, short stories, plays, essays, songs and novels. These stories are told in circles--circles of women, circles of children, circles of dreamers, circles of men seeking hope, all making justice. Some stories are read to huge crowds, others are spoken in whispers, one by one. Some stories are found in books, while others emerge from our own hearts as we recognize ourselves in someone else's eyes or words. For over 35 years these stories have been weaving themselves together and finding voice in our little corner of Little Five Points in Atlanta, Georgia.
My calls on Charis are always a joy. As soon as I walk in the front door I feel especially relaxed, calm and peaceful......no, really!
A little personal history, I became a feminist in 1978 when I read The Women's Room by Marilyn French. It opened up a world to me that I hadn't really taken in fully before. I would recommend it to anyone but especially to men.
Here is an interior shot of the store
Here are the original staff in 1994, celebrating the store's 20th anniversary:
Beryl Jackson; store founder Linda Bryant; Sara Look, the current buyer; and Sherry Emory,
Sara, by the way, has an amazing young daughter named Zelda, a very savvy judge of a great book for kids. Zelda is often a key link in recommending our titles to her mom for the store. Much to Zelda's consternation, I no longer include chocolate in the catalog boxes I send out. I've been thinking it may be time to bring back the chocolate, however. I want your recommendations, Zelda--would that sweeten the deal?