WestportREADS 2017: Keynote Talk with Author George Hodgman
Hear writer and editor George Hodgman when he talks about the WestportREADS 2017 selection Bettyville. This critically-acclaimed memoir relates with wit and tenderness a son's journey from New York City to care for his irascible mother in his Missouri hometown. Register online. Note: Location changed to Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East.
George Hodgman is a veteran magazine and book editor who has worked at Simon & Schuster, Vanity Fair and Talk magazine. His writing has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Interview, W and Harper’s Bazaar, among other publications. He lives in New York City and Paris, Missouri.
More about the book: When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair.
Bettyville was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and a Books-A-Million President’s Pick, and it was selected as a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, NPR’s Fresh Air and Library Journal. The New York Times called Bettyville “a most remarkable, laugh-out-loud book,” NPR’s Maureen Corrigan named it “this year’s must-read dispatch from the frontlines of caretaking,” and a reviewer for the Chicago Tribune wrote that it “will be seen, even years from now, as the quintessential book on taking care…When I want to be reminded of the genius of decency, I will return to these words.” You can hear George interviewed on Fresh Air here, or watch his PBS Newshour interview here.
WestportREADS is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman.