Lara Love Hardin at Harvard Book Store
The Many Lives of Mama Love:
A Memoir of Lying, Stealing, Writing, and Healing
in conversation with EVY POUMPOURAS
August 7, 2023
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes LARA LOVE HARDIN—founder of True Literary Agency—to discuss her new memoir The Many Lives of Mama Love: A Memoir of Lying, Stealing, Writing, and Healing. She will be joined in conversation by former US Secret Service agent EVY POUMPOURAS.
About The Many Lives of Mama Love
No one expects the police to knock on the million-dollar, two-story home of the perfect cul-de-sac housewife. But soccer mom Lara Love Hardin has been hiding a shady secret: she is funding her heroin addiction by stealing her neighbors’ credit cards.
Lara is convicted of thirty-two felonies and becomes inmate S32179. She learns that jail is a class system with a power structure that is somewhere between an adolescent sleepover party and Lord of the Flies. Furniture is made from tampon boxes and Snickers bars are currency. But Lara quickly finds the rules and brings love and healing to her fellow inmates as she climbs the social ladder to become the “shot caller,” showing that jailhouse politics aren’t that different from the PTA meetings she used to attend.
When she’s released, she reinvents herself as a ghostwriter. Now, she’s legally co-opting other people’s identities and getting to meet Oprah, meditate with The Dalai Lama, and have dinner with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. But the shadow of her past follows her. Shame is a poison worse than heroin—there is no way to detox. Lara must learn how to forgive herself and others, navigate life as a felon on probation, prove to herself that she is more good than bad, and much more.
The Many Lives of Mama Love is a heartbreaking and tender journey from shame to redemption, despite a system that makes it almost impossible for us to move beyond the worst thing we have ever done.
Praise for The Many Lives of Mama Love
“A hilarious and heartbreaking confession that will not let you go until it is done—and then it will haunt you. It will give you hope in what is possible for each of us if we allow others—and ourselves—to move beyond our shame, find redemption, and write a new, more inspiring story of our lives.” —Lori Gottlieb, author of the New York Times bestseller, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
“Laced with penetrating wit, written with unsparing honesty and manifesting irrepressible resilience, The Many Lives of Mama Love is a book to intrigue, enchant, instruct, entertain and inspire readers of all ages and backgrounds. It speaks to our common human experience of suffering and the healing that can follow.” —Gabor Maté M.D., author of the New York Times bestseller, The Myth of Normal
“Lara Love Hardin writes with the same humor and bravery that helped her navigate incarceration, sobriety and a daunting return to the community to regain her place in her children's lives. This beautifully told story flies in the face of assumptions about substance use disorder and incarcerated women and shows how community and connection help people rebuild themselves for the better.” —Piper Kerman, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Orange is the New Black
Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.
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.
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