Jeanna Kadlec with T. Kira Madden, Heretic

Porter Square Books is thrilled to welcome Jeanna Kadlec, author of her debut memoir Heretic, for a conversation with T. Kira Madden. Heretic is a Lit Hub "Most Anticipated Book of 2022", an Autostraddle "Rainbow Reading: Book Recommendations From Hot People Just Hit Different", an Electric Lit "Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books for Fall 2022" , an Autostraddle “Queer and Feminist Books Coming Your Way- Fall 2022” , a Bay Area Reporter "Word for word: Fall Arts book" , and a Buzzfeed "15 Incredible Memoirs To Look Out For This Fall".

This event will take place on Thursday, November 3 at 7pm at Porter Square Books (25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140). Masks are required for all in attendance at this event. RSVPs, while not required, are strongly encouraged. Scroll down to RSVP below!

About the Book

A memoir of leaving the evangelical church and the search for radical new ways to build community. 

Jeanna Kadlec knew what it meant to be faithful--in her marriage to a pastor’s son, in the comfortable life ahead of her, in her God--but there was no denying the truth that lived under that conviction: she was queer and, if she wanted to survive, she would need to leave behind the church and every foundational building block she knew.  

Heretic is a memoir of rebirth. Within, Kadlec reckons with religious trauma and Midwestern values, as a means of unveiling how evangelicalism directly impacts every American--religious or not--and has been a major force in driving our democracy towards fascism. From the story of Lilith to celebrity purity rings, Kadlec interrogates how her indoctrination and years of piety intersects with her Midwest working-class upbringing. As she navigated graduate school, a new home on the East Coast, and a new marriage, another insidious truth began to reveal itself --that conservative Christianity has both built and undermined our political power structures, poisoned our pop culture, and infected how we interact with one another in ways that the secular population couldn’t see.  

Weaving the personal with powerful critique, Heretic explores how we can radically abandon these painful systems by taking a sledgehammer to the comfortable. Whether searching for community in the face of millennial loneliness or wanting to reclaim a secular form of fellowship in everyday life, Kadlec envisions the brilliant possibilities that come with not only daring to want a different way but actually striking out and claiming it for ourselves.


Jeanna Kadlec's writing has appeared in Longreads, ELLE, NYLON, O the Oprah Magazine, Allure, LitHub, and more. A born and bred Midwesterner, she now lives in New York City. Heretic: A Memoir is her first book.
T Kira Māhealani Madden is a Chinese, Kānaka Maoli writer, photographer, and amateur magician. A recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Tin House, MacDowell, and Yaddo, she serves as the Founding Editor of No Tokens, a magazine of literature and art. She is the author of the 2019 New York Times Editors’ Choice memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, which is now being developed as a feature film, and her work has appeared in Harper’s, The Sun, and New York Magazine. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the winner of the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz LAMBDA Literary Award, her debut novel, Whidbey, is forthcoming from Mariner/HarperCollins.


Event date: 

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140

RSVP Form: 

RSVP to attend our event with Jeanna Kadlec!

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Heretic: A Memoir By Jeanna Kadlec Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358581819
Availability: In Stock: Click Title to See if it's in CAMBRIDGE or BOSTON
Published: Harper - October 25th, 2022


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