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Local author to hold PTSD reading, discussion | Arts & Culture

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Local author to hold PTSD reading, discussion
Local author to hold PTSD reading, discussion

ATLANTA -- When Dr. Christal Presley's father was only 18 years old, he was drafted to Vietnam. He returned home with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, which fractured their relationship.

According to Presley, her father experienced severe depression and rage after the war, and she had no idea how to reach out to him. She left home at age 18 and didn't speak to her father for several years.

Presley went on to earn a Ph.D. in education and, in 2009, decided to contact her father. She created the Thirty Day Project, where she spent a month asking her father difficult questions about his time in Vietnam. Presley compiled their conversations into her first memoir, Thirty Days with My Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD, which will be released Nov. 1.

Presley will read from, discuss and sign copies of Thirty Days with My Father at Hodgepodge Coffeehouse and Gallery at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Thirty Days with My Father has received plenty of advance praise, including some from Dr. Frank Ochberg, who is credited with helping define the term "post-traumatic stress disorder."

"Whether you are a professional who treats veterans and their loved ones, or a person at risk for military PTSD, or anyone who cares, you will be profoundly moved by this eloquent memoir," Ochberg said.

Admission to Presley's reading is free. Copies of Thirty Days with My Father will be available for $14.95.

Hodgepodge Coffeehouse and Gallery is located at 720 Moreland Avenue SE in East Atlanta.

Presley's visit is sponsored by A Cappella Books.