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Book Discussion: Hollywood Park: A Memoir by Mikel Jollett, Class of 96

Event Details

Date/Time:
Wed, February 24, 2021
07:00PM - 08:30PM
Venue:
Zoom
Registration Period:
12/21/2020-02/24/2021
Price:
Free
Contact:
Kathy Christie '85 MS '86

Please join us for a Zoom discussion of "Hollywood Park: A Memoir” by Mikel Jollett ’96. 

Book description:

Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer.

Jollett’s remarkable memoir opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother. But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and more erratic. In his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol.

Raised by a clinically depressed mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step-fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex-con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician. Hollywood Park is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him. Although Mikel Jollett’s story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal.

Event Activities

Book Discussion: Hollywood Park: A Memoir by Mikel Jollett, Class of 96
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 @ 7:00 PM

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