The public is invited to attend two events to launch a nonfiction book that took a more than a decade to write and publish.
“Unnecessary Sorrow: A Journalist Investigates the Life and Death of His Oldest Brother: Ordained, Discarded, Slain” by Joe Hight will be launched at a special event in Tulsa, followed by an event in Edmond. Part of the proceeds from book sales will benefit Mental Health Association Oklahoma.
The official launch will be during an event with Magic City Books at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at The University of Tulsa’s Allen Chapman Student Union, 3135 E 5th Place. Jeff Martin, founder of Magic City Books, will conduct an interview with Hight about his book.
The Oklahoma City-area launch will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at Best of Books, 1313 E Danforth in the Kickingbird Square Shopping Center. Hight and his family own the bookstore.
At both events, Elena Hight, Joe Hight’s daughter, will perform “My Uncle,” a song she wrote based on the book. Hight also will be available to sign his book after speaking at both events.
For more than a decade, award-winning journalist Hight had a mission: Find out what happened to his oldest brother, Paul Hight, a Roman Catholic priest purged from the Church because of his mental illness and who was killed by police on his front doorstep. Hight weighed through thousands of pages of documents, including his brother’s own writings and a 150-page police report about his death.
The result: Unnecessary Sorrow, a compelling narrative that takes you on a journey back to the days when a family struggled with the aftermath of the Great Depression’s Dust Bowl Days, World War II and ultimately the drowning of a beloved daughter that changed their lives. To the days of upheaval in the Roman Catholic Church caused by its Vatican II dictates. To the days when a mental health system often misdiagnosed and mistreated those suffering the most. To the days when police-involved shootings started becoming front-page headlines.
“I found myself riveted by Paul Hight’s story and how his youngest brother captured it not only from a personal perspective but from a historical one, too,” said Jeanne Devlin, founding editor of The RoadRunner Press, which is publishing the book.