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Authors Open Pandora's Box

Author and Cleveland Park resident Kate Lehrer is not afraid to open Pandora's Box. Her novels Confessions of a Bigamist (2004) and Out of Eden (2003) turned stereotypes inside out and stripped back layers of camouflage to reveal the complexity and unconventionality that can course through seemingly ordinary lives. The Texas native re-opened the infamous Box again recently, hosting her lifelong friend Gail Thomas, scholar and activist, whose new book Healing Pandora: The Restoration of Hope and Abundance, explores the tendentious relationship between the goddess and our male-dominated civilization. As dozens of Lehrer's friends munched on a salmon, salad and bagel brunch recently, Thomas challenged women to embrace the controversial power symbolized by Pandora. Describing the different ways the goddess has been maligned in mythology, Thomas said fear of women's inner strength and intuition (represented by the "Box") should be the impetus for women to embrace their own power in order to find fulfillment and transform our "disconnected civilization into a culture with soul." Thomas is co-founder of the Dallas Institute and director of its Center for the City. She teaches and lectures internationally on urban design, quality of life, and the transformative potential of spirit-oriented urban development.