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Purple Hair: Journey from the Heartland  by Cate Lewis
Hoosier girl’s background clashes with her bisexual life unprepared to address burning issues

In 1985 America a naive young woman experiences the real world while struggling to find meaning in a life that doesn’t match the roles determined by her Disneyland upbringing in a rural working class family. As a Hoosier girl, Tracy Perry’s background clashes with her life as an adult English as a second language teacher, idealistic feminist, and bi-coastal explorer of life in the undercurrents of social progress. Radical change in sexual politics, counter-cultural art, music, and literature reshape both her life and that of others around her: her father, a WWII vet given electroshock treatment to address PTSD induced schizophrenia, her dancer friend, an HIV positive bisexual man she falls in love with, her lesbian Lakota friend and lover involuntarily sterilized at age 17 after the birth of her second child, and her mother, who must become the breadwinner in a role switch resulting from her husband’s PTSD treatment. Burning issues become unavoidable as Tracy stands on common ground with fellow human beings facing issues she is unprepared to address—the HIV/AIDS epidemic, racial prejudice, genocide, poverty, lack of education, and social justice inequities. It’s an individual coming of age story set in a time and place where collective consciousness drowns us all.

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