Barbara Williams discusses and signs "The Hope in Leaving"
DIESEL, A Bookstore in Brentwood welcomes Barbara Williams to the store to discuss her new memoir, The Hope in Leaving, on Thursday, March 31st at 6:30pm. Joining her in conversation will be writer, producer Bruce Wagner.
Handsome Jack is a logger, nomad, and born dreamer. His young wife, Simone, has too many kids and never enough money to support or protect them. The family keeps on the move, shedding a grand total of twenty-seven homes. Their first child, Randy, is sensitive and brilliant and bold, protector of his younger siblings, the fearless star of their childhood adventures and misadventures—until something snaps inside him. The second child who comes a year after him, our narrator Barbara, is the lucky one, who can dream of getting out. Every time the family relocates, she feels “the hope in leaving and doing better next time.”
Poverty, mental illness, sexual abuse, and injustice pursue them wherever they go. They live small-town life hard and suffer, most of all Randy. The great surprise of The Hope in Leaving isn’t that these characters descend increasingly into isolation and strife, but that despite this they remain a family, that there is always the spark of wit in their banter, and a kind of closeness no matter what happens, even a sense of normalcy. Gradually, the reader comes to understand why The Hope in Leaving is a book that had to be written. In it, Williams proves beyond doubt that there is one thing that can survive the worst of life and even death itself: love without judgment.
Barbara Williams is a Canadian Emmy winner, musician and renowned film, television, and stage actress. Early in her acting career, Williams starred in the films Thief of Hearts and City of Hope. She won an Emmy Award for Best Actress for the 1996 telepic Mother Trucker. As a musician, she has performed in the United States and Canada, often in concerts devoted to peace, worker's rights, and the environment. The Hope in Leaving is her first book. She lives and works in Los Angeles with her husband, Tom Hayden, and her son, Liam.
Bruce Wagner is the author of The Empty Chair, Dead Stars, Memorial, The Chrysanthemum Palace; a PEN/Faulkner fiction award finalist, Still Holding, I'll Let You Go, I'm Losing You, and Force Majeure. He wrote the acclaimed miniseries Wild Palms and Maps to the Stars, directed by David Cronenberg. Wagner lives in Los Angeles.
Photo Credit for Barbara Williams- Peter Kagan