A Conversation With Author Guinevere Turner + Booksigning


Tue Jun 06 2023 at 07:00 pm to 10:00 pm


Philosophical Research Society | Los Angeles, CA

Please join us for a special conversation onstage with acclaimed screenwriter, director and author Guinevere Turner!
About this Event


A Conversation With Author Guinevere Turner + Booksigning

Guinevere Turner co-wrote the screenplays for AMERICAN PSYCHO and THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE and, most recently, wrote the screenplay for CHARLIE SAYS. She wrote and starred in the highly acclaimed indie LGBT+ film GO FISH and was a writer and actor on Showtime’s groundbreaking drama “THE L WORD.” And now an essay she wrote for The New Yorker is the inspiration for her immersive, spell-binding new memoir When The World Didn’t End, which tells the story of her childhood growing up with the infamous Lyman Family cult—and the complicated and unexpected pain of leaving the only home she’d ever known

On January 5, 1975, the world was supposed to end. Under strict instructions, six-year-old Guinevere Turner put on her best dress, grabbed her favorite toy, and waited with the rest of her community for salvation—a spaceship that would take them to live on Venus. But the spaceship never came.

Guinevere did not understand that her family was a cult. She spent most of her days on a compound in Kansas, living apart from her mother with dozens of other children who worked in the sorghum fields and roved freely through the surrounding pastures, eating mulberries and tending to farm animals. But there was a dark side to this bucolic existence. Guinevere was part of the Lyman Family, a secluded cult spearheaded by Mel Lyman, a self-proclaimed savior, committed to isolation from a World he declared had lost its way. When Guinevere caught the attention of Jessie, the woman everyone in the Family called the Queen, her status was elevated—suddenly she was traveling with the inner circle among communities in Los Angeles, Boston, and Martha’s Vineyard.

But before long, the life Guinevere had known ended. Her mother, from whom she had been separated since age three, left the Family with another disgraced member, and Guinevere and her four-year-old sister were forced to leave with them. Traveling outside the bounds of her cloistered existence, Guinevere was thrust into public school for the first time, a stranger in a strange land wearing homemade clothes, and clueless about social codes. Now out in the World she’d been raised to believe was evil, she faced challenges and horrors she couldn’t have imagined.

Drawing from the diaries that she kept throughout her youth, Guinevere Turner’s memoir is an intimate and heart-wrenching chronicle of a childhood touched with extraordinary beauty and unfathomable ugliness, the ache of yearning to return to a lost home—and the slow realization of how harmful that place really was.

Following the conversation onstage, Guinevere Turner will sign copies of her new memoir When The World Didn’t End (Crown/Random House).

Ticket Price: $10 (in-person and Zoom options available).

If you have any questions please email [email protected] or phone 323-663-2167.

This event is part of Celebrating Pride Month at PRS, showcasing the incredible artistry, diversity and contributions of the LGBT+ community in Los Angeles and beyond. Please check our calendar for the other Celebrating Pride Month events in June.

Event Photos


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Where is it happening?

Philosophical Research Society, 3910 Los Feliz Boulevard, Los Angeles, United States

Event Location & Nearby Stays:


USD 10.00

The Philosophical Research Society

Host or Publisher The Philosophical Research Society

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