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Boy erased : a memoir of identity, faith, and family [electronic resource] / Garrard Conley.

By: Conley, Garrard.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: [London] : William Collins, 2018ISBN: 9780008276997.Subject(s): ChristianityOnline resources: Access eBook online Summary: Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture Starring Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, and Written and Directed by Joel Edgerton? A necessary, beautiful book? Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to YouThe 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 institutionalised 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.
List(s) this item appears in: Queer Culture Books and DVD's August 2019
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Downloadable eBook.

Non fiction.

Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture Starring Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, and Written and Directed by Joel Edgerton? A necessary, beautiful book? Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to YouThe 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 institutionalised 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.

Adult.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

This lyrical memoir by short story and nonfiction writer Conley (English literature, American Coll. of Sofia, Bulgaria) is a coming-of-age story of a sensitive teenager from a rural, close-knit religious community in the Deep South. In 2004, after one semester at a nearby college, Conley is outed as a homosexual to his family. His mother and Baptist missionary father push him to attend a church-sponsored conversion therapy program, LIA (Love in Action), designed to "cure" him of his impure desires as well as his sexual orientation. Despite the recent Supreme Court rulings for marriage equality, there are many different pockets of belief on LGBTQ issues in this country. Conley writes so convincingly about his section of America, his experiences at the therapy program, and his relationships with family and friends, that readers experience both his pain and his relief, when it comes. While this memoir may have been difficult to write, it is an important account that deserves to be read widely. VERDICT Recommended for those who appreciate open-minded thinking and value community and family.- Amy Lewontin, Northeastern Univ. Lib., Boston © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

In this exceptionally well-written memoir, Conley recounts his brief but harrowing time attending Love in Action, an ex-gay ministry. After the man who raped him in college outs him to his Missionary Baptist parents, Conley enters a tailspin that results in seeking conversion therapy to both placate his parents and find his own peace. He nicely weaves the account of his two weeks at Love in Action with stories from his earlier life to present a moving picture of the struggle to be gay-or stop being gay-in a conservative, southern Christian community. Particularly effective is the representation of his parents, who sincerely believe this is best for their son, and his recounting of this world slowly losing its grip on him. Other memoirs of ex-gay therapy survivors recount longer and more involved encounters with the process, but Conley offers enough for readers to understand the main concepts and methods of such groups. 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. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

When Conley is raped by an acquaintance as a freshman in college, the assailant then has the remarkable effrontery to call Conley's mother and out him. Deeply disturbed, the parents, in concert with the pastor of their conservative Baptist Missionary Church, decide Conley should be sent for reparative therapy to an organization called Love in Action, which promises to cure him of his homosexuality, utilizing a 12-step program. Can anything good come of this? Conley searches for the answer in this highly introspective memoir. In alternating chapters, the author recounts his life both inside and outside of therapy, including the difficulty of growing up gay in the South. Closely observed feelings are the fuel that drives this complex coming-of-age account. Because Conley lives inside his head, one sometimes wishes for more external action and, especially, a more vivid account of his two-week experience of therapy. Nevertheless, readers share the author's agonies and uncertainties, which result in his ultimate rejection of the now widely discredited LIA experience. Moving and thought-provoking.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2015 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

In a sharp and shocking debut memoir, Conley digs deep into the ex-gay therapy system. When the author's parents found out he might be gay, his hometown in Arkansas started to close in on him. The community he grew up in looked at him twice, his principles were blurred by constant self-doubt, and those he once considered friends became distant memories. As people of faith, his parents sent him to Love in Action, a Christian ministry devoted to "curing" those filled with "sin." "According to the scripture," writes Conley, "I was no better than a pedophile, or an idol worshiper, or a murderer." While attending LIA, the author met others struggling with alcoholism, homosexuality, and suicidal ideation, and he was told repeatedly that his inner life was wrong. It needed to be changed for the sake of a higher being Conley wasn't sure existed anymore. During college, writes the author, the liberal teachings he received constantly clashed with everything he learned growing up. "Sitting there in the midst of my professors' intelligent conversations, I had felt like both an impostor and a traitor," he writes. "I smiled at the appropriate moments, made droll comments about my upbringing, mocked the politics of almost everyone in my hometown. Yet it was also true that coming home often made me feel, if not proud of my heritage, then at least grateful for its familiarity." Those moments of disjunction are unfortunately not frequent in the book though they are absolutely vital to this framework. Readers follow Conley through a very difficult process of self-identification that sheds light on the degrees of intolerance that are still present in today's world. At times, the text feels a bit passive; some readers may expect more blatant outrage. Nevertheless, Conley has chosen to expose ex-gay therapy as abusive, and that is important. An engaging memoir that will inevitably make readers long for a more equal future. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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