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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 08 June 2019

Outside Memoirs: Tracey Thorn & Dustin Lance Black Special Guests @ Damian Barr’s Literary Salon

This month, Damian Barr will bring his legendary Literary Salon to Theatre Royal Brighton for a third time, with guest authors Dustin Lance Black and Tracey Thorn, both of whom will read from their new memoirs.

Author, director and activist Dustin Lance Black, best known for writing the Oscar winning screenplay Milk and his work towards the overturning of California's anti-gay marriage Proposition 8, will read from his deeply personal memoir Mama's Boy, which explores how one family built bridges across great divides.

In the book, the Academy Award winner shares stories of growing up in a conservative Mormon household that should not have seen him thrive. 

As a boy, Black struggled with his sexuality, but found inspiration in his determined mother, who defied expectations to raise a family, build a career and escape two abusive husbands. 

Black's sexuality clashed with his mother's religious views, yet she stood by his side as he helped to bring the historic equal rights case to the U.S. Supreme Court. 


Mama's Boy is ultimately a story about humanity - about family, foundations, turmoil, tragedy, elation and love.

Singer, songwriter and writer Tracey Thorn, renowned for her prolific musical and literary output, will read from her latest memoir, Another Planet, immersing us deep in her 1970s childhood, where "life was slow and very little happened, over and over again".

Before she was a bestselling musician and author, Thorn was a typical teenager - trapped in suburban Brookman's Park, just 14 miles north of King's Cross - a direct train away from London, but seemingly another world. 

Here people aspired to "a better class of bungalow", whilst Tracey dreamed of living on a tube line. 

In Another Planet, Thorn takes us to the high street, to the local disco, to the endless family fondue parties and on her inspiring journey from commuterland to Everything But The Girl.

Host Damian Barr says of the upcoming event: 

"We all have our own stories - our own secrets. Too often we're told to be quiet. 

"To write your memoir is to share your story. To read a memoir is to become part of somebody else's story, to see yourself reflected in their pages. 

"In this special Literary Salon we meet two brilliant outsiders - they've both fought hard to find their voice and make it heard. And what voices! What stories!"

Damian Barr's Literary Salon - Outside Memoirs: Tracey Thorn & Dustin Lance Black at Theatre Royal Brighton on Sunday 23rd June 2019. For tickets CLICK HERE.

by: Mike Cobley




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Credit Piers Foley for Target Live

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