Lost and Found
Lost and Found by Ernest Merchant
ISBN 978-1-941069-70-7, 386 pp., 10 B&W illustrations, softcover, $16.95 (SC tax 7%)
Available at Art Works (843-235-9600, ClassAtPawleys.com)
This is not your stereotypical gay-hairdresser-addict-convict story ... if there is such a thing. In the vein of Augusten Burroughs and Jeannette Walls, "Lost and Found" is a harrowing tale of survival in a world hostile to diversity. The memoir spans five decades, from the young boy whose search for identity and self-empowerment begins with the haunting observation, "there are no pictures of me as a baby," through a dark, spiraling vortex of bad decisions, while "looking for love in all the wrong places." With unflinching candor, Merchant explores the issues of sexual diversity, drug addiction, crime and punishment, and social prejudice. His sardonic humor and clear-eyed honesty take the reader on a dangerous journey, battling the demons of self-destruction -- a war that turns out to be surprisingly uplifting.