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Powell's Books Presents Rick Emerson in Conversation With Chelsea Cain
In 1971, Go Ask Alice reinvented the young adult genre with a blistering portrayal of sex, psychosis, and teenage self-destruction. The supposed diary of a middle-class addict, Go Ask Alice terrified adults and cemented LSD's fearsome reputation, fueling support for the War on Drugs. Five million copies later, Go Ask Alice remains a divisive bestseller, outraging censors and earning new fans, all of them drawn by the book's mythic premise: A Real Diary, by Anonymous. But Alice was only the beginning. In 1979, another diary rattled the culture, setting the stage for a national meltdown. The posthumous memoir of an alleged teenage Satanist, Jay's Journal merged with a frightening new crisis — adolescent suicide — to create a literal witch hunt, shattering countless lives and poisoning whole communities. In reality, Go Ask Alice and Jay's Journal came from the same dark place: Beatrice Sparks, a serial con artist who betrayed a grieving family, stole a dead boy's memory, and lied her way to the National Book Awards. Rick Emerson’s Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World's Most Notorious Diaries (BenBella) is a true story of contagious deception. It stretches from Hollywood to Quantico, and passes through a tiny patch of Utah nicknamed "the fraud capital of America." It's the story of a doomed romance and a vengeful celebrity. Of a lazy press and a public mob. Of two suicidal teenagers, and their exploitation by a literary vampire. Unmask Alice… where truth is stranger than nonfiction. Emerson will be joined in conversation by Chelsea Cain, author of Heartsick and One Kick.

Jul 6, 2022 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Rick Emerson
Rick Emerson is a longtime radio and television broadcaster, the former host of the nationally-syndicated Rick Emerson Show, and the co-author (with Lisa Desjardins) of Zombie Economics: A Guide to Personal Finance. He’s a regular guest on America’s finer podcasts, and can be seen in occasional television roles, as well as in several independent films and a truly dreadful commercial for tires. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his two dogs, Willard and Philo.
Chelsea Cain
Chelsea Cain is a NYT bestselling thriller author, Eisner-nominated comic book creator, and a founding partner of The Ministry of Trouble. Her six internationally bestselling Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell thrillers have been published in over 30 languages. The 12-episode TV show GONE produced by NBCUniversal International Studios, starring Chris Noth (Law & Order, Sex and the City) is based on Cain’s thriller, ONE KICK. Cain’s Portland-based thrillers, described by The New York Times as “steamy and perverse,” have been recommended on “The Today Show,” and appeared in episodes of HBO’s “True Blood” and ABC’s “Castle.” Stephen King included two of her books in his top ten favorite books of the year, and NPR named HEARTSICK one of the best 100 thrillers ever written. According to Booklist, “Popular entertainment just doesn’t get much better than this.”