Garrard Conley and Taylor Larsen

present

Boy Erased:
A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family

and

Stranger, Father, Beloved:
A Novel

This event includes a book signing

Date

Mar
3
Friday
March 3, 2017
8:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes authors GARRARD CONLEY and TAYLOR LARSEN for a discussion of Conley's new-to-paperback memoir, Boy Erased, and Larsen's debut novel, Stranger, Father, Beloved.

About Boy Erased

The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality.
 
When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness. 
 
By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. At times heart-breaking, at times triumphant, this memoir is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.

Praise for Boy Erased

“This brave and bracing memoir is an urgent reminder that America remains a place where queer people have to fight for their lives. It’s also a generous portrait of a family in which the myths of prejudice give way before the reality of love. Equal parts sympathy and rage, Boy Erased is a necessary, beautiful book.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

"Exceptionally well-written . . . This timely addition to the debate on conversion therapy will build sympathy for both children and parents who avail themselves of it while still showing how damaging it can be." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"An essential document of the early 21st Century. Conley bears witness to something history will eventually condemn as too horrible to have happened, but he also takes the pain of "ex-gay therapy" and makes of it not just a record but a wonder." —Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night 

About Stranger, Father, Beloved

In the tradition of Tom Perrotta’s Little Children, a debut novel about a wealthy man who has reached a crossroads after a lifetime of repression and denial, sending him—and his family—into a slow spiral towards a total breakdown.

When Michael sees his wife Nancy chatting with a stranger at a party, his intuition tells him that he’s watching her with the man she should have married. He quickly begins a campaign to replace himself within his own family with this other man—who, to him, is worthier, better, and kinder—all so his faithful wife Nancy, his beautiful teenage daughter Ryan, and his young son Max can live the lives they deserve.

While Michael pursues this man’s friendship, Ryan goes through a period of sexual awakening and rebellion and distances herself from her family, and the quiet, weak Nancy becomes increasingly befuddled and frustrated by the behaviors of her husband and daughter. As tension and uncertainty build in their home, the James family slowly unravels.

With the quiet intensity of the film American Beauty and the emotional sensitivity of Lorrie Moore, Taylor Larsen creates a powerful and moving story about the fracturing of a family and its descent into chaos.

Praise for Stranger, Father, Beloved

"A mesmerizing, unsparing exploration of one man's descent, told in subtle, precise language that is reminiscent at times of Raymond Carver, Haruki Murakami, and Carson McCullers, but entirely Larsen's own creation; a wonderful debut." —Karen Russell, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and author of Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove

"Stranger, Father, Beloved is a terrific debut—elegant and thoughtful, intelligent and haunting. Taylor Larsen had me thinking about her beautifully drawn characters—and their secrets—for days. A wonderful book." —Molly Antopol, National Book Award Finalist for The Unamericans

"Larsen makes a noteworthy debut with a family drama that explores loyalty, lies, and well-being . . .  Larsen captures every nuance with finesse, every emotion with grace. An emotionally intelligent family drama that examines the breaking point of a marriage." —Kirkus, starred review

Garrard Conley
Garrard Conley

Garrard Conley

Garrard Conley is the author of the memoir Boy Erased. His work can be found in TIME, VICE, CNN, Buzzfeed Books, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Writers' Conferences and has facilitated craft classes for Catapult, Grub Street, Sackett Street Writers Workshop, and the Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown. Garrard completed service for Peace Corps Ukraine, attained a Master's degree in creative writing and queer theory, and taught literature in Sofia, Bulgaria at The American College of Sofia. He now lives in Brooklyn and teaches in NYC.

Photo credit: Colin Boyd Shafer Photography 

Taylor Larsen
Taylor Larsen

Taylor Larsen

Taylor Larsen is a graduate of Columbia University's MFA program in fiction writing. Taylor has taught fiction writing at Columbia University and the Sackett Street Writers Workshop, as well as literature courses for Pace University. Her essays have appeared in Bustle, Literary Hub, and Women Writers, Women's Books. Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Taylor currently resides with her husband in Brooklyn, NY.

Photo credit: Sylvie Rosokoff

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x6
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

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