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TIFF 2018

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Boy Erased (Movie Tie-In)
A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family
Media tie-in
By (author): Garrard Conley
9780525538981 Paperback, Trade English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs Aug 21, 2018
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.2 x 0.9 in 352 pages Riverhead Riverhead Books
A beautiful, raw and compassionate memoir about identity, love, and understanding from a survivor of ’ex-gay’ therapy, soon to be a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Lucas Hedges, directed by Joel Edgerton, and produced by Anonymous Content and Focus Features.

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, Boy Erased is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.

Story Locale: Arkansas

MAJOR MOVIE NEWS: The movie of Boy Erased (same title) will premiere on September 28th, 2018. Starring Academy Award Winner Nicole Kidman, Academy Award Winner Russell Crowe, Academy Award Nominee Lucas Hedges (as Garrard), Troye Sivan, and directed by Joel Edgerton. The movie will be distributed by Focus Features.

MEANINGFUL MARKETING: The movie studio and cast will partner with LGBTQ organizations to do outreach alongside the movie (they visited the set already), and Garrard is going to be front and center. He’s been working with the PRH Speaker’s Bureau and Academic Marketing already and is a superb speaker and advocate for this topic.

AMAZING PERSONAL STORY: Garrard has given a humane, compelling, revealing glimpse at a world many of us have never seen before. Not only the story of this “pray the gay” away program, but of growing up deeply religious in a conservative American South.

HOT BUTTON ISSUE: The struggle for gay rights and the stories of survivors of this kind of conversion therapy have been a media focus and that will only continue to grow. Gay conversion therapy is still legal throughout the United States, and Mike Pence has been an advocate for it.

LITERARY VOICE: Like The Glass Castle or Wild, Boy Erased has a mesmerizing, compassionate voice that is poetic in its yearning, searching quest for identity, hope, and truth.

FAMILY MEMOIR: Like Tobias Wolff or Mary Karr or Jeannette Walls, Garrard shows all sides of his family’s experience—good and bad—but always full of love. Garrard’s relationship to his family—deep and complex—is the lodestone of this story.

Garrard Conley’s fiction and nonfiction can be found in Time, Vice, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and on CNN.com, Buzzfeed, and elsewhere. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Elizabeth Kostova Foundation writers’ conferences. A finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Boy Erased, Conley lives and teaches in New York.

Author Residence: New York, NY

Author Hometown: Arkansas

Marketing: Book club promotion

Social media and online promotion

GarrardConley.com / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr



Publicity: National electronic media

National print and online reviews and features



Author Website: FocusFeatures.com/BoyErased

Author Social Media: Facebook.com/GarrardC, Twitter & Instagram: @gayrodcon

Praise for Boy Erased:

“This brave and bracing memoir is an urgent reminder that America remains a place where queer people have to fight for their lives. It’s also a generous portrait of a family in which the myths of prejudice give way before the reality of love. Equal parts sympathy and rage, Boy Erased is a necessary, beautiful book.”—Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

“The power of Conley’s story resides not only in the vividly depicted grotesqueries of the therapy system, but in his lyrical writing about sexuality and love, and his reflections on the Southern family and culture that shaped him.”—Los Angeles Times

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