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Local poet Sandra Beasley is allergic to eggs, soy, beef, shrimp, pine nuts, cucumbers, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, mangoes, macadamias, pistachios, cashews, swordfish, mustard, and dairy (including goat’s milk). In short, her stomach has seen more pumps than a gas station. This afternoon the newly minted memoirist stops by Politics & Prose to discuss her new book about her allergic life, Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl. Part joke, part earnest request, the title speaks to her own experiences, and also ties in a larger discussion of the science of food allergies. For Beasley, dining out can be a difficult proposition: There’s always the chance it may end with a hospital visit or a copious dose of Benadryl. But the writer is rarely fazed—sometimes, she’s even reckless. Growing up was not always carefree for Beasley, whose childhood predated food allergy-sensitive stadium seating, but these days she enjoys “indulging in D.C.’s amazing sushi scene.” For that, Beasley deserves a firm pat on the back—accompanied by a hearty scrub-down with Purell.
Sandra Beasley reads from her book at 3 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.