Brentwood - Tuesday September 13th at 6:30 pm - Chrysta Bilton discusses and signs "Normal Family".
Join us on Tuesday September 13th at 6:30pm as we welcome Chrysta Bilton to the store to read from and sign Normal Family, her new memoir about love, addiction, family secrets, and meeting 35 siblings. Joining Chrysta in a conversation about the book — and the craft of memoir more broadly — will be the best-selling novelist, memoirist, and screenwriter Stephanie Danler.
This event is free to attend and will be held in the courtyard at DIESEL, a bookstore in Brentwood. Masks are required to attend. Drinks and light bites will be served.
What is a “normal family,” and how do you go about making one? Chrysta Bilton’s magnetic, larger-than-life mother, Debra, yearned to have a child, but as a single gay woman in 1980s California, she had few options. Until one day, while getting her hair done in a Beverly Hills salon, she met a man and instantly knew he was the one she’d been looking for. Beautiful, athletic, artistic, and from a well-to-do family, Jeffrey Harrison appeared to be Debra’s ideal sperm donor.
A verbal agreement, a couple of thousand in cash, and a few squirts of a turkey baster later, and Chrysta was conceived. Over the years, Jeffrey would make regular appearances at the family home, which grew to include Chrysta’s baby sister. But how much did Debra really know about the man she’d chosen to father her daughters? And as a single mother torn between ferocious independence and abject dependence—on other women, alcohol, drugs, and the adrenaline of get-rich-quick schemes—what secrets of her own was she keeping?
It wasn’t until Chrysta was a young adult that she discovered just how much her parents had hidden from their daughters—and each other—including a shocking revelation with far-reaching consequences not only for Debra, Chrysta, and her sister, but for dozens and possibly hundreds of unsuspecting families across the country. After a lifetime of longing for a “normal family,” can Chrysta face the reality of her own, in all its complexity? Bringing us into the fold of a deeply dysfunctional yet fiercely loving clan that is anything but “normal,” this emotional roller coaster of a memoir will make you cry, laugh, and rethink the meaning of family.
Chrysta Bilton is the author of Normal Family: On Truth, Love, and How I Met 35 Siblings. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, Literary Hub, and Newsweek. Normal Family was recently named a “Best Book of Summer” by People Magazine, LA Times, Vanity Fair, USA Today, Amazon, Apple, and Kirkus. Chysta lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
Stephanie Danler is a novelist, memoirist, and screenwriter. She is the author of Stray, and the international bestseller Sweetbitter. She is the creator and executive producer of the Sweetbitter dramatic series on Starz. She lives mostly in Los Angeles. Stray is Stephanie Danler's reckoning with her upbringing by two addict parents, her journey through a toxic love affair, and a study on the way we inherit damage and potentially transcend it.