Past Event

Jason Diamond / Searching for John Hughes

| The Booksmith

Upper Haight

The Booksmith
1644 Haight St 94117
RSVP appreciated but not required.
All ages
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From the organizer

The Booksmith presents Jason Diamond and his hilarious and poignant new memoir, Searching for John Hughes: Or Everything I Thought I Needed to Know about Life I Learned from Watching '80s Movies, the story of how a Jewish kid from a broken home in a Chicago suburb—sometimes homeless, always restless—found comfort and connection in the likewise broken lives in the suburban Chicago of John Hughes’ oeuvre.

A writer at heart, Diamond decided early on that it would fall to him to write a biography of his favorite filmmaker. It didn’t matter to him that he had no qualifications, training, background, platform, or direction. Thus went the years-long, delusional, earnest, and assiduous quest to reach his goal. In the meantime, he brewed coffee, guarded cupcake cafes, and built up a respectable writing career. All the while, he watched John Hughes movies religiously. Though his original biography of Hughes has long since been abandoned, Jason has discovered he is a writer through and through, and the adversity of going for broke has now been transformed into wisdom. Or, at least, a really, really good story.

This is a memoir of growing up. One part big dream, one part big failure, one part John Hughes movies, one part Chicago, and one part New York. It’s a story of what comes after the “Go for it!” part of the command to young creatives to pursue their dreams—no matter how absurd they might seem at first.


“Oh look, it's all my favorite things in one book: Chicago, New York City, punk rock, food, and existential crises. I absolutely adored Jason Diamond's bittersweet, charming and hilarious memoir Searching for John Hughes. It details the longing and struggle of an aspiring writer with clarity, wit, and heart, and is perfect for anybody who grew up in the suburbs and longed for something more.” — Jami Attenberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Middlesteins and Saint Mazie

“Jason Diamond writes with equal parts wit and candor about what happens when life diverges wildly from the suburban fairytales made popular by John Hughes. Diamond passionately conveys how lovely it is when we find less cinematic but harder earned happy endings on our own terms.” — Maris Kreizman, author of Slaughterhouse 90210

“Jason Diamond’s memoir tells a heartbreaking story of crummy parents, restless youth, imposter syndrome, and the movies that help him make sense of it all. This book makes me want to tell my parents and children how much I love them, drive around suburban Chicago in a station wagon, apologize to everyone I’ve ever done wrong, and then curl up on the couch and watch The Breakfast Club.” — Emma Straub, author of the New York Times bestsellers Modern Lovers and The Vacationers


Jason Diamond is a writer and editor from Brooklyn. He is the Sports Editor at Rolling Stone, a columnist at Electric Literature, former Literary Editor at Flavorwire, former Associate Editor at Men’s Journal, and the founding editor of Vol. 1 Brooklyn. He has been published by the New York Times, Paris Review, New York, the Believer, the New Republic, the New York Observer, Tablet, The Rumpus, The Awl, and many other places. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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