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      Summer Session: Books with Benefits with Don Cummings, Maggie Rowe, Jacob Tobia & Henry Wolfe in Los Angeles

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      July 18, 2019

      Thursday   7:30 PM

      453 South Spring Street
      Los Angeles, California 90013

      Summer Session: Books with Benefits with Don Cummings, Maggie Rowe, Jacob Tobia & Henry Wolfe

      Note: Your ticket includes - and is the same price as - the book. Summer Session: Books with Benefits: The Last Bookstore is pleased to present Don Cummings, Maggie Rowe, Jacob Tobia and Henry Wolfe. Join us to celebrate Don Cummings' memoir, Bent But Not Broken, Maggie Rowe's memoir, Sin Bravely: A Memoir of Spiritual Disobedience, and Jacob Tobia's Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender-Story. Henry Wolfe, Los Angeles songwriter, will present music from his latest albums. Bent But Not Broken by Don Cummings is the story of the body, the self, and the ways in which illness traumatizes and transforms. It is also the first memoir about Peyronie’s Disease, a disfiguring but potentially treatable penile condition that afflicts 5% of the male population. Don Cummings writes openly, fearlessly (and often hilariously) about the emotional and collateral damage caused by his bent penis, its effect on his partner and his own sense of self and sexuality. As the author moves from despair to raging hope, he unflinchingly details the doctor visits, the excruciating treatments, and the acute anxiety caused by struggles with his domestic partner. Cummings discloses powerful sexual reminiscences of his younger days—Penis as Madeleine—including childhood precocity, promiscuity and substance abuse. Blissfully discordant domestic life, a harrowing kidnapping by a handsome stranger, a convoluted career as an actor and playwright, and interactions with Meryl Streep also figure into this universal narrative of survival and love. A dark comedy with a happy ending, Bent But Not Broken reads like a medical mystery about the author’s single-minded quest to cure his Peyronie’s Disease, redeem his sexuality, and save his relationship. This book will appeal to those who like a heavy helping of humor with their sickness and health, and have enjoyed books like Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs, I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron, and You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know by Heather Sellers. Told in a voice both funny and heartfelt, Sin Bravely by Maggie Rowe is a tour de force, voice-driven debut that examines how one woman finally found the middle ground between Heaven and Hell.   Maggie Rowe took the idea of salvation very seriously. Growing up in a moderately religious household, her fear of eternal damnation turned into a childhood terror that drove her to become an outrageously dedicated Born-again Christian —regularly slinging Bible verses in cutthroat scripture memorization competitions and assaulting strangers at shopping malls with the “good news” that they were going to hell. Finally, at nineteen, crippled by her fear, she checked herself into an Evangelical psychiatric facility—and that is where her journey really began. Surrounded by a ragtag cast of characters, including a former biker meth-head struggling with anger management issues, a set of identical twins tormented by erotic fantasies, a World War II veteran and artist of denial who insists that he’s only “locked up for a tune-up,” and a warm and upbeat chronic depressive who becomes the author’s closest ally, Maggie launches a campaign to, in the words of Martin Luther, “Sin bravely in order to know the forgiveness of God.”   Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender-Story by Jacob Tobia - From the moment a doctor in Raleigh, North Carolina, put "male" on Jacob Tobia's birth certificate, everything went wrong. Alongside "male" came many other, far less neutral words: words that carried expectations about who Jacob was and who Jacob should be, words like "masculine" and "aggressive" and "cargo shorts" and "SPORTS!"   Naturally sensitive, playful, creative, and glitter-obsessed, as a child Jacob was given the label "sissy." In the two decades that followed, "sissy" joined forces with "gay," "trans," "nonbinary," and "too-queer-to-function" to become a source of pride and, today, a rallying cry for a much-needed gender revolution. Through revisiting their childhood and calling out the stereotypes that each of us have faced, Jacob invites us to rethink what we know about gender and offers a bold blueprint for a healed world--one free from gender-based trauma and bursting with trans-inclusive feminism.   From Jacob's Methodist childhood and the hallowed halls of Duke University to the portrait-laden parlors of the White House, Sissy takes you on a gender odyssey you won't soon forget. Writing with the fierce honesty, wildly irreverent humor, and wrenching vulnerability that have made them a media sensation, Jacob shatters the long-held notion that people are easily sortable into "men" and "women." Sissy guarantees that you'll never think about gender--both other people's people's and your own--the same way again. Don Cummings is author of Bent But Not Broken, a memoir (Heliotrope, March 2019). His essays have appeared in various literary journals including Post Road Magazine and Epiphany, which published an excerpt of this book. He often performs his stories at venues around the country including Comedy Central’s Sit ‘n Spin, HBO Workspace, Brooklyn Reading Works, Tell It!, Personal Space and True Story. His many plays have been produced and read on both coasts, performed by committed artists, curious interlopers and Meryl Streep at The Public Theater. Don has appeared on television and in film, but more often on stage. A graduate of Tufts University with a degree in biology, and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, he lives in Los Angeles with his husband.   For the last fifteen years, Maggie Rowe has performed in and produced the Comedy Central stage show sit 'n spin, Los Angeles's longest-running spoken word show. She has written for Arrested Development and Flaked for Netflix, and is the creator of the theatrical satires Hollywood Hellhouse and Hollywood Purity Ball. She is the author of Sin Bravely, picked as a NPR Book of the Year 2017.   Henry Wolfe is an LA singer songwriter. Drawing on memories of the 20th century, his sound fuses 60s pop and RnB, 70s singer songwriter and 80s New Romantic into something strange, new and slippery. His music has been likened to a range of acts, from Roxy Music and Talk Talk to Paul Simon and Nina Simone. He is currently working on his third solo album.   Jacob Tobia, author of Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender-Story, is a gender nonconforming writer, producer, and performer based in Los Angeles. A member of both the Forbes "30 Under 30" and the "OUT 100," Jacob's writing and advocacy have been featured by MSNBC, The New York Times, TIME, The Guardian, and Teen Vogue, among others. A Point Foundation Scholar, Truman Scholar, and member of the Biden Foundation's Advisory Council for Advancing LGBTQ Equality, Jacob has worn high heels in the White House twice. All events are subject to cancellation, so please check back. 

      Categories: Literary & Books

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