The Last Bookstore is please to present Ben Barnz in conversation with Jodie Foster for the launch of his book WE: An Adoption and A Memoir. Join us for a reading followed by a Q&A with Jodie Foster.
Pre-buy the book – even reserve a seat – right here!
Centering on the story of Ben Barnz and his husband adopting a child, WE alternates between legal suspense story and memoir, examining shifting gender roles in parenting and modern notions of family-construction.
The book interweaves Barnz’s path to parenthood beginning with his closeted youth in 1980’s New York, a time when it was statistically more likely he would die from AIDS than become a father.
WE delves into the complicated relationships that arise between birthparents and adoptive parents, between birthmothers and birthfathers, between parent and child, between married couples. In this story, as in life, empathy is revealed where, technically, none should exist. This book examines our desire to do better, be better—better people, better friends, better parents, better strangers, better ourselves. And in the end, WE celebrates the potential we all have for forgiveness.
As an independent producer, Barnz seeks out character-driven material, often with a strong literary bent. He frequently collaborates with his husband, filmmaker Daniel Barnz. Together they formed We’re Not Brothers Productions, so named because everyone who doesn’t know them assumes they must be brothers. They are not.
Barnz produced Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston which premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Barnz’s next film project, I’ll Drop a House on You, will start production in the fall of 2018, and is the story of Ryan Wash – a young black queer debater who revolutionized the world of debate. Barnz is producing with Plan B and Annapurna. Barnz is producing a one-hour television drama written by his husband and sixteen-year old daughter. The show takes a frank and uncensored look at teenage sexuality and identity.
After working as a casting director for many years in film and television, Barnz produced Daniel’s first film, the critically acclaimed Phoebe in Wonderland which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was released nationally in 2008.
Barnz’s first book will be published this fall by Wyatt-McKenzie. WE: An Adoption and A Memoir is about the adoption of his daughter, and the legal (and emotionally fraught) battle that ensued with her birthfather – a battle that began the day after her birth and two days after 9/11. The book interweaves this story with Ben’s path to parenthood – beginning with his closeted youth in 1980s New York City, a time when it was statistically more likely he would die from AIDS than become a father.
Born and raised in New York City, Barnz attended Hampshire College.
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