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Amanda Palmer on Motherhood

29th May 2016 · 11:20am - 1:00pm

In person | Virtual event

 Amanda Palmer on Motherhood

In her mid-thirties, singer-songwriter and New York Times bestselling author Amanda Palmer approached a conflicted baby conundrum. She’d always had a hard time shaking the belief that suffering and isolation were important to making art. If she had kids, would she turn into a boring, irrelevant, ignorable artist? Would she suddenly start writing songs about balance and meadows of wheat and going-with-the-flow? Would she become that annoying person who is so enthralled with their child that it’s impossible to have an intelligent conversation with them about art because they’d rather show you iPhone photos of their kid drooling out a spoonful of mashed carrots?

Eight months after the birth of her son Anthony, Amanda joins The School of Life to tell us whether she was right to be afraid.

We’re going to talk about how babies are the gateway to a new universe. We’re going to talk about how people treat you differently with a child, and about the hopes and fears of every new parent. We’re going to talk about abortion and miscarriage, and why as a society we make women go through it all alone, in the closet, ashamed, instead of recognising their mourning.

We’ll discover whole new perspectives on what it means to push a small human out of your body in 2016. There’ll be hymns. There’ll be ukulele. There is no script we can fall back on. Join us.

About Sunday Mornings

Since 2008 The School of Life has presented strictly secular Sunday Sermons exploring the values we should live by today. We ask maverick cultural figures to give us their take on the virtues to cling to or the vices to be wary of in our complex world. Expect persuasive polemics, pop-song hymns and artist-made buns and biscuits.


Provocative, irreverent, controversial and wildly creative, Amanda Palmer is a fearless singer, songwriter, playwright, blogger and an audaciously expressive pianist who simultaneously embraces – and explodes – traditional frameworks of music, theatre and art. Amanda first came to prominence as one half of the internationally acclaimed punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls. In May of 2012 she made international news when she raised nearly $1.2 million pre-selling her new album, Theatre is Evil, along with related merchandise and “experiences” via Kickstarter. Theatre is Evil went on to debut in the “Billboard Top 10” when it was released on Sept. 11, 2012, and has been released in over 20 countries on her own label, 8ft records. Amanda was invited to present a “TED Talk” at TED’s 2013 Conference. To date her Talk, “The Art of Asking”, has been viewed more than 7.5 million times worldwide. 2013 also saw the release of “An Evening with Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer”- a 3 CD collection of tracks culled from a live tour with her husband and best-selling author Neil Gaiman. 2014 found Amanda expanding her philosophy into a book after the success of her TED Talk. The Art of Asking was released world-wide on Nov. 11th and made the New York Time’s Best Seller List.


11.20 Doors open
11.40 Sermon starts
12.30 Refreshments served
13.00 End

Reviews of The Art of Asking:

Amanda Palmer joyfully shows a generation how to change their lives (Caitlin Moran, author of HOW TO BE A WOMAN and HOW TO BUILD A GIRL)

To read Amanda Palmer’s remarkable memoir about asking and giving is to tumble headlong into her world. Immediately, you notice that her world is really different from yours and mine. Amanda’s world is more open, more vulnerable, more fearless, more messy, more surprising, more dangerous, more rich with human encounters and exchanges at every imaginable level. At first, you find yourself thinking, “Goodness, what a crazy world that Amanda Palmer inhabits! How does she possibly endure it?” Then, gradually, as you read along, a doorway opens up in your heart, and you realize, “I want to live in a world exactly like hers”. God willing, this book will show us all how to do it (Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of EAT, PRAY, LOVE)

The Art of Asking is a book about cultivating trust and getting as close as possible to love, vulnerability, and connection. Uncomfortably close. Dangerously close. Beautifully close. And uncomfortably close is exactly where we need to be if we want to transform this culture of scarcity and fundamental distrust (From the foreword by Brene Brown, author of the bestselling DARING GREATLY)

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