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Daniel Allen Cox launches I Felt the End Before It Came in conversation with Heather O’Neill
16 May at 19:00
Tuesday, May 16, 7:00 pm
In person and livestreamed
Join Daniel Allen Cox in conversation with Heather O’Neill for the launch of I Felt the End Before It Came: Memoirs of a Queer Ex-Jehovah’s Witness, which has been referred to by the latter author as “hugely entertaining, open-hearted, and insightful… a joy to read from start to finish.” The event will take place at La Petite Librairie Drawn & Quarterly at 176 rue Bernard O at 7 pm on Tuesday, May 16th, and will feature a reading, a conversation, Q&A and signing.
This event will be ASL interpreted. It is free and open to all. Books will be available for purchase at the event and the author will sign copies of their book.
Please note that we are asking all guests to wear masks at this event. Masks will be available free of charge upon entry.
The event will also be livestreamed on Drawn & Quarterly’s YouTube account—link to come.
About the Book
Daniel Allen Cox grew up with firm lines around what his religion considered unacceptable: celebrating birthdays and holidays; voting in elections, pursuing higher education, and other forays into independent thought. Their opposition to blood transfusions would have consequences for his mother, just as their stance on homosexuality would for him.
But even years after whispers of his sexual orientation reached his congregation’s presiding elder, catalyzing his disassociation, the distinction between “in” and “out” isn’t always clear. Still in the midst of a lifelong disentanglement, Cox grapples with the group’s cultish tactics—from gaslighting to shunning—and their resulting harms—from simmering anger to substance abuse—all while redefining its concepts through a queer lens. Can Paradise be a bathhouse, a concert hall, or a room full of books?
With great candour and disarming self-awareness, Cox takes readers on a journey from his early days as a solicitous door-to-door preacher in Montreal to a stint in New York City, where he’s swept up in a scene of photographers and hustlers blurring the line between art and pornography. The culmination of years spent both processing and avoiding a complicated past, I Felt the End Before It Came reckons with memory and language just as it provides a blueprint to surviving a litany of Armageddons.
About the Participants
Daniel Allen Cox is the author of I Felt the End Before It Came: Memoirs of a Queer Ex-Jehovah’s Witness. His essays have appeared in Electric Literature, Literary Hub, Catapult, TriQuarterly, The Malahat Review, The Rumpus, Maisonneuve, and elsewhere. His essay “The Glow of Electrum” was named Notable in Best American Essays 2021 and was a finalist for a 2021 National Magazine Award. Daniel is the author of four novels, nominated for the Lambda Literary Award, the Ferro-Grumley Award, and the ReLit Award. He is past president of the Quebec Writers’ Federation and lives in Montreal.
Heather O’Neill is a novelist, short-story writer and essayist. Her most recent bestselling novel, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, won the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and CBC’s Canada Reads. Her previous work, which includes Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and Daydreams of Angels, has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize two years in a row. She has won CBC’s Canada Reads and the Danuta Gleed Award. Born and raised in Montreal, O’Neill lives there with her daughter.