About This Event:
15th Annual WOMEN'S WAY Book Prize
Wednesday, November 1st | 5:30-7:00 PM | Virtual
Join us this year as we honor the recipient of the 15th Annual WOMEN’S WAY Book Prize, Casey Parks, for her book, Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery. Moderated by Jeannine A. Cook, author and shopkeeper of Harriett’s Bookshop and Ida’s Bookshop this engaging conversation with Casey and Jeannine will include a Q&A session with the audience. Please note: This is a free event but donations are appreciated.
View a list of past WOMEN'S WAY Book Prize honorees here.
About the Author: Casey Parks is a Washington Post reporter who covers gender and family issues. She spent a decade at The Oregonian, where she wrote about race and LGBTQ+ issues and was a finalist for the Livingston Award. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Oxford American, ESPN, USA Today, and The Nation. Her memoir, “Diary of a Misfit,” was named one of the best books of 2022 by The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and New York Public Library, and it won the 2023 Oregon Book Award. A former Spencer Fellow at Columbia University, Casey lives in Portland, Oregon.
About Diary of a Misfit: When Casey Parks came out as a lesbian in college back in 2002, she assumed her life in the South was over. Her mother shunned her, and her pastor asked God to kill her. But then Parks' grandmother, a stern conservative who grew up picking cotton, pulled her aside and revealed a startling secret. “I grew up across the street from a woman who lived as a man,” and then implored Casey to find out what happened to him. Diary of a Misfit is the story of Parks’ life-changing journey to unravel the mystery of Roy Hudgins, the small-town country singer from her grandmother’s youth, all the while confronting ghosts of her own. For ten years, Parks traveled back to rural Louisiana and knocked on strangers’ doors, dug through nursing home records, and doggedly searched for Roy’s own diaries, trying to uncover what Roy was like as a person—what he felt; what he thought; and how he grappled with his sense of otherness. With an enormous heart and an unstinting sense of vulnerability, Parks writes about finding oneself through someone else’s story, and about forging connections across the gulfs that divide us.
“Most moving is Parks’ depiction of a queer lineage, her assertion of an ancestry of outcasts, a tapestry of fellow misfits into which the marginalized will always, for better or worse, fit.” —The New York Times Book Review