About the Book
“Bettyville” is a funny, tender memoir about a son coming home to a place he never quite fit to care for his aging mother.
Hodgman, after working for years as an editor in New York City, returns to Paris, Missouri and finds that his hometown and his mother Betty are both in extreme decline. The two share a fierce love, but a deep silence, as Betty has never been able to understand or accept his homosexuality. Hodgman reflects on his recovery from addiction, losing loved ones to the AIDS epidemic and his struggles to care for the still feisty but failing Betty. Funny, honest and tenderhearted, this memoir illuminates how a person is shaped by a family and community that are at once loving and damaging, flawed and beautiful.
National Museum Day is Saturday, September 24th, and the Museum of Art and Archaeology is hosting an open house featuring the portrait exhibition on display in the galleries, with a special museum display of some of Betty Hodgman’s treasures and personal items. These items were provided by One Read author, George Hodgman, and are accompanied by this statement about the collection:
This cabinet of curiosities includes many objects of particular significance to the world of my mother, Betty Hodgman, and to the memoir, Bettyville. The tiny map of Monroe County is a commemoration of the place my mother lived almost all her life, first in Madison, where she was born in 1922, and later in Paris where she resided after 1972.
Betty was not only an avid collector of antiques and old things, she was a conservator of objects important to her family. One of her passions was antique hat pins and she kept small vases full of them in our living room and on the bureau in her bedroom. Note the blue baby shoes hanging from the pins. I discovered these tiny shoes, which I once wore, wrapped in tissue and carefully preserved in our basement after my mother’s death. Continue reading
The program “The Development of the LGBT Movement and the HIV/AIDS Crisis in Mid-Missouri” has been canceled for Thursday, Sept. 15.
It has now been rescheduled for next Thursday, Sept. 22. Same time, same place!
Join us to hear author George Hodgman speak about returning home to Paris, Missouri to care for his aging mother, and how that experience became his memoir “Bettyville.” He will also answer questions and sign copies of his book following his talk.
Thursday, September 22 at 7pm
On August 31st, KFRU’s David Lile interviewed this year’s One Read author George Hodgman about his memoir, “Bettyville.” Listen to Hodgman speak on the writing process, his struggle with maintaining some privacy of his mother, and the possibility of adapting “Bettyville” into a TV show.