Like many people do, George Hodgman left his small hometown (Paris, Missouri) for the bright lights of New York. But when his mother, Betty, needed someone to look after her, Hodgman returned home, the dutiful only son. Paris had fallen on hard times in his absence, but Betty remained as salty and opinionated as ever -- and so was George. They had to learn to live together again as adults, which meant tolerating each other's flaws and delighting in their similarities. And maybe now Hodgman could come out as a gay man to his mother, after all these years. Hodgman's Bettyville: A Memoir is about family and the constant fight to maintain the identity we create for ourselves -- especially with the people who know us best. Hodgman discusses Bettyville tonight as the guest of Left Bank Books and the Maryville Talks Books series.

7 p.m. Thu., Mar. 19. St. Louis Public Radio's community room (3651 Olive Street; www.left-bank.com). Admission is free.
Thu., March 19, 7 p.m., 2015

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