Local Author Spotlight

Saturday, October 26 – 1:00-2:45 pm
Library Activity Room

Join us for a group reading with authors Barbara Freer, The Secret of 1945; José Sotolongo, The Scented Chrysalis; and Alan Perna, To Alan, Best Wishes. Each author will read for about 20 minutes. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

In her memoir, The Secret of 1945, we meet Bobbie, (Barbara Freer) an American Protestant girl, who was taken to a French prison. The ten-year-old and her grandparents had survived WWII in German-occupied France. Bobbie’s parents, living in America, had received no news of their family for many years and finally heard in early June 1945 that their relatives were living in liberated Metz, France and were safe. By June, Bobbie and her grandparents had disappeared and all contact was lost again.

To Alan, Best Wishes (Alan Perna) discusses the memoirs of a Brooklyn teenager in the mid 1950’s coming out and coming of age in the New York Theater District. The book contains 50 photographs of Stage and Screen celebrities, taken by the author, plus 400 autographs and the stories and adventures of the collectors and the stars that they met.

The Scented Chrysalis by Jose Sotolongo is the story of a young man married to a woman who slowly realizes he is gay and seeks counseling at a religious retreat looking for answers, despite the fact that he has no religious faith. With the help of a monk who is a trained psychotherapist, Lucas begins to accept that, despite his love for and devotion to Angie, he is primarily attracted to men. Through the backstories of the people in Lucas’ life, we see the horrible impact of the AIDS epidemic in the 80’s and 90’s on the already stigmatized gay community, and the damaging intolerance towards gay people and their families. It is only through careful thought and analysis in the monastery that he sees the similarities between oppressive, totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century and the persecution of the gay community.

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