Glen David Gold in conversation with Oscar Villalon
Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco

discussing Glen David Gold's new memoir

I Will Be Complete

from Alfred Knopf

This event is co-sponsored by Zyzzyva

From the best-selling author of Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside, a big-hearted memoir told in three parts: about growing up in the wake of the destructive choices of an extremely unconventional mother.

Glen David Gold was raised rich, briefly, in southern California at the end of the go-go 1960s. But his father's fortune disappears, his parents divorce, and Glen falls out of his well-curated life and into San Francisco at the epicenter of the Me Decade: the inimitable '70s. Gold grows up with his mother, among con men and get-rich schemes. Then, one afternoon when he’s twelve, she moves to New York without telling him, leaving him to fend for himself. I Will Be Complete is the story of how Gold copes, honing a keen wit and learning how to fill in the emotional gaps: "I feel love and then it’s like I’m driving on black ice with no contact against the road." He leads us though his early salvation at boarding school; his dream job at an independent bookstore in Los Angeles in 1983; a punk rock riot; a romance with a femme fatale to the soundtrack of R.E.M.; and his attempts to forge a career as a writer. Along the way, Gold becomes increasingly fascinated with his father’s self-described "cheerful amorality" and estranged from his mother, who lives with her soulmate, a man who threatens to kill her. Clear-eyed and heartbreaking, Gold’s story ultimately speaks to everyone who has struggled with the complexity of parental bonds by searching for–and finding–autonomy.

Glen David Gold’s first novel, Carter Beats the Devil, has been translated into fourteen languages.  His short stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s, Playboy, and The New York Times Magazine.  He lives in Los Angeles.

Advance praise for I Will Be Complete:

“I Will Be Complete is the best memoir I’ve read in years. It’s likely the best memoir published in years. Gold’s a novelist and this book reads like the best fiction. It’s exciting, beautiful, and clear-eyed in a way most memoirs aren’t. Oh, and you’ll never forget this charming, intelligent, unique narrator.” —Darin Strauss, author of National Book Critics Circle Award winner Half a Life and Chang and Eng

“We expect the story of a boy and his mother ought to go a certain way. I Will Be Complete goes in ways you’d never expect. The people shatter, reassemble themselves, and shatter all over again. The prose is crystalline, hard as real diamonds, flashing, revealing. The story is simple, just a boy and his mother’s long disintegration, but the journey is darkly complicated, heartbreaking, beautiful as hell.”  —Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama