R. Eric Thomas on "Here for It"
Presented by the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, in association with Anne Arundel County Public Library, Calvert Library, Carroll County Public Library, and Howard County Public Library.
National bestselling author R. Eric Thomas discusses his hit book “Here for It” in commemoration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month at PGCMLS.
From the creator of Elle’s “Eric Reads the News,” a heartfelt and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding unexpected hope, and experiencing every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way.
“Pop culture–obsessed, Sedaris-level laugh-out-loud funny . . . [R. Eric Thomas] is one of my favorite writers.”—Lin-Manuel Miranda, Entertainment Weekly
R. Eric Thomas didn’t know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he went—whether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high school, his conservative black church, or his Ivy League college in a big city—he found himself on the outside looking in.
In essays by turns hysterical and heartfelt, Thomas reexamines what it means to be an “other” through the lens of his own life experience. He explores the two worlds of his childhood: the barren urban landscape where his parents’ house was an anomalous bright spot, and the Eden-like school they sent him to in white suburbia. He writes about struggling to reconcile his Christian identity with his sexuality, the exhaustion of code-switching in college, accidentally getting famous on the internet (for the wrong reason), and the surreal experience of covering the 2016 election for Elle online, and the seismic changes that came thereafter. Ultimately, Thomas seeks the answer to these ever more relevant questions: Is the future worth it? Why do we bother when everything seems to be getting worse? As the world continues to shift in unpredictable ways, Thomas finds the answers to these questions by reenvisioning what “normal” means and in the powerful alchemy that occurs when you at last place yourself at the center of your own story.
Here for It will resonate deeply and joyfully with everyone who has ever felt pushed to the margins, struggled with self-acceptance, or wished to shine more brightly in a dark world. Stay here for it—the future may surprise you.
R. Eric Thomas is a playwright, the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia and D.C., and he is a Senior Staff Writer for Elle.com where he writes “Eric Reads the News,” a daily current events and culture column. He won the 2016 Barrymore Award for Best New Play and the 2018 Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award and received a 2017/2018 National New Play Network Commission. His debut memoir-in-essays, entitled Here For It, or How to Save Your Soul in America was published in February 2020 and is a nationwide indie bestseller. His biography of Rep. Maxine Waters, Reclaiming Her Time, co-authored with Helena Andrews-Dyer, will be published in late 2020 by Dey Street Books.
He has been published multiple times in The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Man Repeller, as well as Philadelphia Magazine, Newsworks, ThinkingDance, and others.
With over a million social media shares, Eric’s ELLE.com column “Eric Reads the News” has quickly become an online humor staple. Covering pop culture, politics and current events, the column is a sardonic and sassy take on our world.