Allen Young to read from his book “Left, Green & Gay”

  • Young Contributed photo

  • Young Contributed photo

For the Athol Daily News
Published: 4/23/2018 10:55:25 PM
Modified: 4/23/2018 10:55:27 PM

ROYALSTON — An autobiography written and self-published by local author Allen Young of Royalston has been released, and two book signings have been scheduled.

The book, “Left, Gay & Green: A Writer’s Life,” is 500 pages and includes many photographs. Young, who writes the Inside/Outside column for the Athol Daily News, will read passages and sign books at Athol Public Library tonight at 6:30, and at Royalston Public Library on Friday at 7 p.m.

Thirty percent of proceeds from the sale of books (price is $25) will go to Friends of the Library organizations in each town.

At 76, more than half of Young’s life has been spent in the North Quabbin Region, and his narrative includes his experience building a house in a communal setting, working for the Athol Daily News and the Athol Hospital and his involvement in various community organizations.

It also covers his earlier life — growing up on a chicken farm in New York’s Catskill Mountains, his education in public schools, as well as Columbia and Stanford, three years in South America (a Fulbright scholarship), writing for a variety of newspapers, involvement in the anti-war and gay liberation movements and, ultimately, deciding to leave city life behind.

Unique chapters delve into his identity as a non-religious Jew, and his experiences with marijuana.

The back cover of the book includes this endorsement from Eric Foner, a Pulitzer prize-winning history professor at Columbia:

“Allen Young’s memoir chronicles a remarkable personal and political journey, from growing up as a red-diaper baby through the radicalism of the 1960s and the emergence and development of the modern gay movement. What makes it so compelling is not only Young’s superb writing, but his revealing candor and intellectual curiosity. The personal and the political, as the saying goes, really do overlap here, and the result is a fascinating narrative that reveals a great deal about an important strand of modern American life.”

State Sen. Stan Rosenberg, of Amherst, who represents Royalston and other area towns, wrote, “With his journalist’s eye for detail, Mr. Young guides his readers through the exotic landscapes, the tumultuous politics, the intimacies, the triumphs and inner turmoil that continue to shape his character. “Left, Gay and Green” is truly an American story and a poignant reminder that the journey toward self-discovery, and, ultimately, self-acceptance is often arduous, but always worthwhile.”

Young served for many years on the board of the Athol-based Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, whose executive director, Leigh Youngblood, wrote a book jacket blurb: “With the insight of a journalist and charm of a story teller, Allen Young takes us behind the scenery from Glen Wild, N.Y., to Butterworth Farm. Traveling from his father’s chicken farm to the Big Apple, other continents, and then ‘back to the land’ in the 70s, Allen eloquently champions both the great outdoors, as well as the complex community members who comprise the colorful mosaic of his personal, professional, and civic lives.”

The book is also on sale at Haley’s in Athol, Trail Head in Orange and the Country Store in Petersham. It was published through CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, where it can also be purchased online.


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