Oregon book award winner to read in Astoria


August 10, 2023

Casey Parks of Portland, author of the award-winning Diary of a Misfit and a reporter for the Washington Post, will speak in Astoria Sept. 8 at a reading and reception hosted by the Writer’s Guild of Astoria and Peace First Lutheran Church as part of the Oregon Book Awards Author Tour in partnership with Literary Arts.

The free event will open with an introductory reading by Astoria writer Alyssa Graybeal, and begins at 7 p.m. at Peace First Lutheran Church, 565 12th St. in downtown Astoria.

Parks, who spent a decade as a reporter at The Oregonian and previously was a reporter at the Jackson Free Press, now covers gender and family issues for the Post. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Oxford American, ESPN, USA TODAY, and The Nation. A former Spencer fellow at Columbia University, Parks is the 2023 winner of the Sarah Winnemucca Award in Creative Nonfiction, part of the Oregon Book Awards.

Diary of a Misfit, part memoir, part investigation, is an exploration of sexual identity, its treatment by the Southern Christian churches in which Parks grew up, and her tortured relationship with her mother. The New York Times said of the book: "Most moving is Parks’s 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."

Graybeal is the author of Floppy, an award-winning memoir about living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting the body’s connective tissues. Floppy is a playful story of falling down, getting back up again, and realizing you should have gone to the hospital sooner.

The reading will be followed by a reception and signing by the authors.


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