Queer Memoir Reading Group: The Light Years

[Image description: A rectangular graphic with a pink background. Event details are on the left, and a book cover is on the right. The event details are written in yellow and white text, including book title, author, date/time, address, and website, along with the title "Queer Memoir Reading Group" and the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center logo in white. The book cover features a person with long hair smiling with half of their face distorted by rainbow smudges. The title "The Light Years - Chris Rush - A memoir" are in white.]

The LGBT Library at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center presents the May discussion of the center's Queer Memoir Reading Group, featuring "The Light Years" by Chris Rush.

Chris Rush was born into a prosperous, fiercely Roman Catholic family from New Jersey. But underneath the gleaming mid-century house, the flawless hostess mom, and the thriving businessman dad ran an unspoken tension that, amid the upheaval of the late 1960s, was destined to fracture their precarious façade.

His older sister Donna introduces him to the charismatic Valentine, who places a tab of acid on twelve-year-old Rush's tongue, proclaiming: "This is sacrament. You are one of us now."

After an unceremonious ejection from an experimental art school, Rush heads to Tucson to make a major drug purchase and, still barely a teenager, disappears into the nascent American counterculture. Stitching together a ragged assemblage of lowlifes, prophets, and fellow wanderers, he seeks kinship in the communes of the west. His adolescence is spent looking for knowledge, for the divine, for home. Given what Rush confronts on his travels--from ordinary heartbreak to unimaginable violence--it is a miracle he is still alive.

"The Light Years" is a prayer for vanished friends, an odyssey signposted with broken and extraordinary people. It transcends one boy's story to perfectly illustrate the slow slide from the optimism of the 1960s into the darker and more sinister 1970s. This is a riveting, heart-stopping journey of discovery and reconciliation, as Rush faces his lost childhood and, finally, himself.

Limited free copies of the book are available -- request a copy with your RSVP. If you don't need a free copy, you can buy the book here -- and 10% of your purchase supports free arts programs at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.

The discussion is facilitated by Mary Foltz and is sponsored by Lehigh University's Southside Initiative and Humanities Center. This program is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Funding has been provided in part by the American Rescue Plan. American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

WHEN
May 10, 2022 at 6:30pm - 8pm
WHERE
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
522 W Maple St
at Bayard Rustin Way
Allentown, PA 18101
United States
Google map and directions
CONTACT
Gabby Hochfeld · · (610) 347-9988 x 200

Will you come?