Bent But Not Broken
Peyronie's disease is commonly defined as: "the development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis that causes curved, painful erections."*
For Don Cummings, Peyronie's disease is a diagnosis that ignites: a journey of self discovery, examination of his sexuality, and quest to regain a sense of normality.
This debut memoir chronicles Don's life as he navigates the diagnosis that suddenly has him questioning his manhood through an open- often humorous- narrative. Don's straightforward nature regarding his condition manages to destigmatize misconceptions about living with Peyronie's disease; the author extends readers a hand into his life in an unabashed manner that creates a close atmosphere of intimate friendship. By the end of Bent But Not Broken, readers truly feel a connection with this great storyteller.
I quite enjoyed Don's perpetual sense of humor that serves as a reflection of his personality that tries to lighten serious moments. Works like Bent But Not Broken are crucial in breaking the silence around topics that are considered socially taboo. By crossing this literary threshold, many can discover that this is not a solitary road to travel and Bent But Not Broken advocates a social awareness based on his personal experiences that leaves readers with a degree of hope.
Photo from @TheReadingCornerforAll
About the Book
Bent But Not Broken
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Heliotrope Books LLC
Bent But Not Broken is an unflinchingly honest memoir about the onset of Peyronie’s disease, a painful and sexually limiting condition that is estimated to affect more than 5% of the worldwide adult male population. Don Cummings writes humorously about the emotional and collateral damage brought on by a suddenly curved penis as he struggles to maintain his sense of sex and self. He openly details the doctor visits, the excruciating treatments, and the acute anxiety over the state of his long-term relationship with a man who is supportive but often helpless in the face of nature’s whims. Discordant domestic life, a harrowing kidnapping by a handsome stranger, and reminiscences of a hyper-active sexual past are woven into the single-minded quest to minimize the effects of this deforming disorder. Brace yourself for a daring, heartfelt and beautifully twisted story of love and survival.
About the Author
Don Cummings is known for his fearless and humorous writing, presented in books, theatre and film. His love-sex-and-health memoir, Bent But not Broken, was released in March, 2019, published by Heliotrope Books. Don Cummings has had short stories published in Cagibi and Epiphany. He often performs his personal essays at venues around the country: Comedy Central’s Sit ‘n Spin, HBO Workspace, Largo, Brooklyn Reading Works, Tell It!, Personal Space and True Story.
His many plays have been produced on both coasts: The Fat of the Land was a semifinalist for the Kaufman & Hart Award for New American Comedy and was published in The Coachella Review. A Good Smoke was a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, had a reading at The Public Theater, directed by Pam MacKinnon, with Meryl Streep, Henry Wolfe, Grace Gummer and Debra Monk, and was optioned for Broadway. Piss Play is About Minorities So It’s Really Important, was produced as part of The New York Cringe Festival where it received the Golden Pineapple Award for best play. The Winner was a finalist for The Heideman Award at the Actors Theater of Louisville and was published in Post Road Magazine. His plays, American Air, Stark Raving Mad, Loose Joints and Feed the Children! have been produced in Los Angeles. Box, starring Mink Stole and Lou Liberatore, was an official selection in the Toronto Independent Film Festival, Dam Short Film Festival, New Filmmakers New York Festival, Twin Rivers Media Festival, and was distributed by Shorts International. Oh the Horror!, a graphic novel about zombies, is now live on Instagram and Tumblr @ohthehorrola.
Don Cummings has often appeared on television—most famously as someone’s favorite snarky waiter on Dharma & Greg—and in film, but more frequently on the stage, having performed in over fifty plays. A graduate of Tufts University with a degree in biology and the two-year acting program at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, he spends his days reading, writing, composing music, and helping out other writers. He lives in Los Angeles while adhering to Hawaii’s time zone.