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The public is invited to a reading by Garrard Conley, author of "Boy Erased," on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. at Pebble Hill.

"Boy Erased" is a memoir about identity, love and understanding. When Garrard was a 19-year-old college student he was outed to his parents and 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 12-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. 

Garrard Conley’s fiction and nonfiction can be found in The Common, The Madison Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review and elsewhere. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf, Sewanee and Elizabeth Kostova Foundation writers’ conferences. He received a master’s degree in creative writing from Auburn University in 2012. Conley currently teaches English literature and promotes LGBTQ equality in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The reading is co-sponsored by the Southern Humanities Review, the Auburn University Department of English, the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for Arts and Humanities and the Auburn University Women's Studies Program.

The event is free, open to the public and will be followed by refreshments. Books will be available for purchase and signing. The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities at Pebble Hill is located at 101 South Debardeleben St. in Auburn.

For more information on the program, call 844-4903 or visit the website.