America has always been transfixed by the psychotic woman (Amanda Bynes, Miley Cyrus, the cast of every Real Housewives locale ever), blasting out whole chunks of airtime to exhibit their instability as if to proclaim “See?! See why one of you can’t be president?!” Back in 1892 it was 19-year-old Alice Mitchell of Memphis on display, and to be fair, the stakes were a bit higher. She had just publicly slit the throat of her lover, 17-year-old Freda Ward, after an arguement. But get this—her eventual insanity ruling was cemented not by a silly ol’ thing like grisly murder, but because she professed to be in love with another woman. Tonight author Alexis Coe will read from her new book Alice + Freda Forever, sharing the 100+ primary sources, such as photos and love letters exchanged by the two, to tell the tragic true story.

Tue., Oct. 28, 7 p.m., 2014