Bettyville: A Memoir
by George Hodgman
A witty, tender memoir of a son’s journey from New York City to care for his irascible mother in his Missouri hometown—a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love—an instant New York Times bestseller
When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.
George Hodgman is a veteran magazine and book editor who has worked at Simon & Schuster, Holt, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Vanity Fair, and Talk magazine. His writing has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Interview, W, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other publications. He lives in New York City and Paris, Missouri.