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Boy erased : a memoir of identity, faith, and family
2016
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Summary
The New York Times bestselling memoir about identity, love and understanding. Now a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges, directed by Joel Edgerton. "Every sentence of the story will stir your soul" ( O Magazine ).

The 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 institutionalized 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. At times heart-breaking, at times triumphant, this memoir is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.
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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
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