The Shmutz: CBE Writers Get Real
Wednesday, December 7 at 7:00 PM 
CBE Chapel, 274 Garfield Place

REGISTER HERE

 

At CBE, we count many acclaimed authors, journalists, and screenwriters among our membership. We hope you will join us for our new quarterly series, The Shmutz: CBE Writers Get Real, where the writers in our midst will introduce us to the books, ideas, and authors they can’t stop thinking about.

Our series kickoff features Stephen Mills, author of Chosen: A Memoir of Stolen Boyhood, in conversation with CBE member author Anna Solomon (The Book of V.).

Signed books will be available for purchase from Community Bookstore following the event, along with a reception. The event is free and open to the public. Please register in advance.

About Chosen: A Memoir of Stolen Boyhood

At thirteen years old, Stephen Mills is chosen for special attention by the director of his Jewish summer camp, a charismatic social worker intent on becoming his friend. Stephen, whose father died when he was four, places his trust in this authority figure, who first grooms and then molests him for two years.

Stephen tells no one, but the aftershocks rip through his adult life, as intense as his denial: self-loathing, drug abuse, petty crime, and horrific nightmares, all made worse by the discovery that his abuser is moving from camp to camp, state to state, molesting other boys. Only physical and mental collapse bring Stephen to confront the truth of his boyhood and begin the painful process of recovery—as well as a decades-long crusade to stop a serial predator, find justice, and hold to account those who failed the children in their care.

The trauma of sexual abuse is shared by one out of every six men, yet very few have broken their silence. Unflinching and compulsively readable, CHOSEN eloquently speaks for those countless others and their families. It is a rare act of consummate courage and generosity—the indelible story of a man who faces his torment and his tormentor and, in the process, is made whole.

“Too often the Jewish community promotes a belief in the “otherness” of domestic and sexual abuse—that it happens somewhere else. This beautiful, heartbreaking memoir is a reminder that no group is spared. CHOSEN spotlights the devastation of sexual abuse as it illuminates the triumph of the human spirit.”
LORIBETH WEINSTEIN, CEO Emerita, Jewish Women International

“An unparalleled achievement, a work of shattering, almost-unbearable radiance. CHOSEN is destined to be a classic because this is a book that will save lives.”
JUNOT DIAZ, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

About Stephen Mills

Stephen Mills is the coauthor of Next of Kin, a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. He has advised and written for an array of public interest organizations in the fields of human rights, civil liberties, and the environment. Since 1983, he has worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council, building campaigns that have mobilized millions of people in support of environmental protection. Stephen is honored to serve as an Ambassador for CHILD USA. He lives in California with his wife, Susan.

 

About Anna Solomon

Anna Solomon is the author of The Book of V.Leaving Lucy Pear, and The Little Bride and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, One Story, Ploughshares, The Washington Post, and Tablet. Coeditor with Eleanor Henderson of Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers, Anna works as a freelance editor and teaches writing at Barnard College, Warren Wilson’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, and the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center. She was born and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts.