VIRTUAL - Dan Mathews - LIKE CRAZY

Start: 
Thursday, August 13, 2020 - 7:30pm
Location: 

This event will take place on Zoom. Register here.

Dan Mathews will be in-conversation with Tim Gunn.


“Exquisite. Full of wry humor, tenderness, and compassion.” —Jeannette Walls, New York Times bestselling author

A hilarious and heartbreaking memoir about an outlandish mother and son on an odyssey of self-discovery, and the rag-tag community that rallied to help them as the mother entered the final phase of her life.

Dan Mathews knew that his witty, bawdy, unhinged mother, Perry, was unable to maintain her fierce independence at seventy-eight—so he flew her across the country to Virginia to live with him in an 1870 townhouse badly in need of repairs. But to Dan, a screwdriver is a cocktail not a tool, and he was soon overwhelmed with two fixer-uppers: the house and his mother.

Unbowed, Dan and Perry built a rollicking life together fueled by costume parties, road trips, after-hours gatherings, and an unshakeable sense of humor as they faced down hurricanes, blizzards, and Perry’s steady decline. They got by with the help of an ever-expanding circle of sidekicks—Dan’s boyfriends (past and present), ex-cons, sailors, strippers, deaf hillbillies, evangelicals, and grumpy cats—while flipping the parent-child relationship on its head.

But it wasn’t until a kicking-and-screaming trip to the emergency room that Dan discovered the cause of his mother’s unpredictable, often caustic behavior: Perry had lived her entire adult life as an undiagnosed schizophrenic.

Irreverent and emotionally powerful, Like Crazy is a darkly comic tale about the perils and rewards of taking in a fragile parent without derailing your life in the process. A rare story about mental illness with an uplifting conclusion, it shows the remarkable growth that takes place when a wild child settles down to care for the wild woman who raised him.


Dan Mathews was born and raised in Orange County, CA by a single mother who encouraged her boys to bring home stray animals. In high school, he was beaten up for being gay and credits those rough times with helping him develop the thick skin needed to be an animal activist. He spent two years in Italy working as a fashion model and bit-part actor before returning to the U.S. He began working at PETA as a receptionist and within a year was organizing protests. As PETA's Director of Campaigns, his job is to increase awareness of the rights of animals through high-profile events. He has been arrested for his activities more than twenty times. Through a unique combination of sex, humor, and glamour, he has turned animal rights into one of the hottest causes of the last two decades. 

Tim Gunn is America's top fashion guru and a best-selling author. He hosted Project Runway from 2004-2017, and this spring launched "Making the Cut" with Heidi Klum on Amazon. He met Dan Mathews when Tim was dean of Parsons School of Design and he had Dan in to give a PETA presentation. Since then he has been a PETA advocate and has worked with Dan to convince major fashion brands to eliminate fur. 

Like Crazy: Life with My Mother and Her Invisible Friends Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501199981
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: Atria Books - August 11th, 2020