Author Event: Jeffrey Dale Lofton
Page 158 Books is thrilled to welcome author Jeffrey Dale Lofton to celebrate his first work of fiction, Red Clay Susie--out January 10th.
A heartbreaking, beautifully written debut that captures life and love living on the fringes in America’s Deep South. Inspired by events in his own life, the author takes us inside the heart and mind of a gay, physically misshapen boy struggling to find his way in a conservative family and community, ultimately finding acceptance and love in unexpected ways and in unexpected places. Red Clay Suzie is the story of young Philbet who—fueled by tomato sandwiches and green milkshakes—struggles to make his way, find his place, in rural Georgia. Taunted and bullied at school and by members of his own extended family, Philbet finds refuge in the long rows of his beloved Grandaddy’s vegetable garden, digging potatoes and carving out paths for his fleet of Matchbox cars. Philbet is besotted with cars; he associates them with the important people in his life. It is in this garden that we see Grandaddy share life lessons that will sustain Philbet as he comes to terms with both a skeletal deformity of his chest that makes taking his shirt off in public unthinkable and the fact that he fancies not the girls in his life, but the boys.
JEFFREY DALE LOFTON hails from Warm Springs, Georgia, best known as the home of Roosevelt’s Little White House. He calls the nation’s capital home now and has for over three decades. During those early years he spent many a night trodding the boards of the DC’s theaters and performing arts centers, including the Kennedy Center, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, and Signature Theatre. He even scored a few television screen appearances, including a residuals-rich Super Bowl halftime commercial, which his accountant quipped “is the finest work of your career.” His years telling the stories of playwrights and script writers taught him the pull of a powerful story arc, the splendor of language well used. Today, he is a senior advisor at the Library of Congress, surrounded by books and people who love books—in short, paradise.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Red Clay Suzie will go to support the important work of two organizations dedicated to helping at-risk youth: the Born This Way Foundation (bornthisway.foundation), founded by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, and The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org), the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people.