The Library at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center presents the November discussion of the center's Queer Memoir Reading Group, featuring My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland, winner of the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography and a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award in Nonfiction. The book was also longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.
While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson McCullers and a woman named Annemarie -- letters that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters' language, but does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of McCullers's life. The results reveal something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories.
Harper's BAZAAR writes, "Two books in one: an examination of a famous author whose narrative has been posthumously taken away from her, but also a vital memoir of Shapland’s own experience as a queer woman looking for stories about people like her."
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.
522 W Maple St
at Bayard Rustin Way
Allentown, PA 18101
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