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The Ivy is thrilled to welcome Jody Forrester for a reading from her new book, Guns Under the Bed: Memoirs of a Young Revolutionary. Jody will be in conversation with author Max Elbaum. This event will take place on Zoom.
It is 1969 and Jody A. Forrester is in her late teens, transitioning from a Sixties love child to pacifist anti-Vietnam War activist to an ardent revolutionary. Guns Under the Bed: Memories of a Young Revolutionary revolves around her three years in the Revolutionary Union, a Communist organization advocating armed overthrow of the ruling class. In readiness for the uprising, she sleeps with two rifles underneath her bed. One of millions protesting the war, what sets Jody apart her from her peers is her decision to join a group espousing Mao Tse Tung's ideology of class war. But why? How does she come to embrace violence as the only solution to the inequities inherent in a capitalist empire? To answer that question, Jody goes into her past, and in the process comes to realize that what she always thought of as political is also deeply personal. More than a coming-of-age story, this memoir tells universal truths about seeking a sense of belonging not found in her family with themes of shame, pride, secrecy, self-valuation, and self-acceptance explored in context of the culture and politics of that volatile period in American history.
Jody A. Forrester was born and raised in Los Angeles during the uneasy Fifties and tumultuous Sixties. She graduated from high school in 1969, when the Vietnam War was raging and the country increasingly divided along racial and class lines. While a freshman at San Jose State University, she joined a communist organization advocating armed overthrow of the United States government. In Guns Under the Bed: Memories of a Young Revolutionary, Jody reaches into her past to understand how she came to embrace such a violent culture. A chiropractor by profession, she was forced into retirement by a hand injury requiring surgery. With her time suddenly open, Jody was able to return to her first love, writing fiction and nonfiction stories. She pursued a BA in literature and writing at Antioch College/Los Angeles (2007), and a MFA, also in literature and writing, at Bennington College (2010). Jody’s essays and short stories have appeared in the Sonora Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, WriteRoom, Dreamers Writing, Citroen Review, Gazelle and several others. A story received an honorable mention in the Anderbo/Open City Competition (2009) and another story was featured in the 6th Annual Emerging Voices Group Show (2010) in Los Angeles. She lives in Venice, California with her husband, John Schneider and Australian Shepherd Charley, in the house by the beach where they raised their two daughters, Emily and Erin.
Max Elbaum was a member of Students for a Democratic Society and a leader of one of the main new communist movement organizations. His writings have appeared in the Nation, the US Guardian, CrossRoads, and the Encyclopedia of the American Left. He lives in Oakland.
TIME & DATE
Friday, October 30, 2020 - 6:00pm