BRENÉ BROWN, WHO has been called “America’s Therapist,” is every alpha dude’s worst nightmare: an attractive, 55-year-old research professor and best-selling author, with blond highlights and a penchant for denim jackets and turquoise jewelry, who believes vulnerability and allowing oneself to be perceived as weak is actually the key to innovation and leadership.
While Brown could coast on her laurels and millions of TED Talk views, she instead continues to speak — and, most importantly, listen to people from all walks of life as part of an ongoing campaign to foster empathy and interconnection. On Thursday, Dec. 2 at 7pm CST, Brown will connect with her fellow Houstonians on Zoom for a one-night-only event to launch her new book, Atlas of the Heart, Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience. The event is a presentation of Random House and Brazos Bookstore, and when you register, you can submit a question for Brown.
Brown has never been shy about sharing her family history and personal struggles. (She stopped drinking and smoking the day after her master’s program graduation in 1996 and has been sober ever since.) But while Atlas of the Heart does draw some inspiration from her childhood, it is mostly the result of Brown’s recent and extensive research about emotions, far beyond “happy,” “sad” or “pissed off.”
Using stories, comics and color photographs, the book maps out no fewer than 87 distinct emotions, and provides readers with “new language” to recount and share these feelings and experiences in order to develop stronger, more empathic connections with our fellow travelers in life.
It’s a tall order, but Brown, being from Texas, has never backed down from a challenge. (Upon finishing Atlas of the Heart, Brown tweeted: “This book kicked my ass.”) With Atlas of the Heart, Brown provides a map for both dudes and dudettes to navigate their way out of stagnancy and emotional trauma and reconnect with the very qualities that make us human.