Upcoming Event

Mikel Jollett

presents

Hollywood Park:
A Memoir

Tickets on sale now (book included)

Date

May
8
Friday
May 8, 2020
7:00 PM
(Doors at 6:00)

Location

WBUR CitySpace
890 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Tickets

$30.00 (book included) - On Sale Now

Harvard Book Store welcomes MIKEL JOLLETT—frontman of beloved indie rock band The Airborne Toxic Event—for a reading from his debut memoir, Hollywood Park.

About Hollywood Park

We were never young. We were just too afraid of ourselves. No one told us who we were or what we were or where all our parents went. They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon. They would sit with us or walk around the grounds, to laugh or cry or toss us in the air while we screamed. Then they’d disappear again, for weeks, for months, for years, leaving us alone with our memories and dreams, our questions and confusion. . .

So begins Hollywood Park, Mikel Jollett’s remarkable memoir. His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother. But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and more erratic.

In his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol. Raised by a clinically depressed, narcissistic mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step-fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex-con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician.

Hollywood Park is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him. Although Mikel Jollett’s story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal.

Mikel Jollett
Mikel Jollett

Mikel Jollett

Mikel Jollett was born in an experimental commune in Southern California called Synanon. Started as a drug rehabilitation program, it later morphed into one of the most notorious cults America has ever seen. When the community became violent, his mother fled the group with Jollett and his older brother. Raised in abject poverty and fighting the lure of drugs and delinquency, Jollet escaped with the help of his estranged father. He went on to attend Stanford University, before becoming an on-air columnist for NPR’s All Things Considered, an Editor-at-Large for Men's Health and editor of Filter Magazine. After McSweeney’s published his short story “The Crack,” he was accepted to Yaddo artists’ community, but ultimately decided to pursue music instead. He named his band Airborne Toxic Event after a section of Don DeLillo’s White Noise and quickly built a loyal fan base.

Ticket holders will receive their books when checking in on the evening of the event. All ticket purchases are nonrefundable and nonreturnable. Anyone unable to attend the event will be able to pick up books at the store up to one month after the event.

 

WBUR CitySpace
890 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
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(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

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