Samuel Peterson: Trunky | Flyleaf Books | Page: Readings & Signings | Indy Week
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Samuel Peterson: Trunky 

When: Thu., Feb. 2, 7 p.m. 2017
Price: Free

The title of Trunky: A Memoir of Institutionalization & Southern Hospitality is a portmanteau of "transgender" and "junkie," two ways that Samuel Peterson identified when he found himself, not long after a hysterectomy, detoxing from heroin in the men's ward of a recovery center in Butner, North Carolina. Peterson handles this dire material with irreverent brio, drawing characters with a Hunter S. Thompson-like jaundiced economy. In the first paragraph we meet a "pasty white dude with dyed black hair all roostered and matted in the back" wearing "clothes that looked hopeful; here was another man who didn't wear sport-affiliated, wicking mesh polyblend." As our state grapples with acknowledging the basic rights of transgender people, it's a timely story; it's also a timeless one of near-success, sudden downfall, addiction, and redemption. After launching the book, recently published by California's Transgress Press, at Flyleaf, Peterson also shares his stories of creating community as a transgender man in recovery at TEDxUNC on Feb. 4. —Brian Howe

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