The Recovering

The Recovering

Intoxication and Its Aftermath

Book - 2018
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Presents an exploration of addiction that blends memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and journalistic reportage to analyze the role of stories in conveying the addiction experience, sharing insights based on the lives of artists whose achievements were shaped by addiction.-- Adapted from dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2018
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780316259613
Branch Call Number: BIOGRAPHY 616.8603 JAMISON 2018
Characteristics: 534 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Intoxication and its aftermath


From Library Staff

The author's unflinching story of her alcoholism told within the bigger story of addiction.

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JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Nov 17, 2018

Part memoir, part exploration of famously drunk and recovering authors, and part exploration of recovery in general. A solid and unique recovery memoir.

Jul 19, 2018

This could have been a gripping memoir, but then again, maybe it couldn't.

Perhaps it was the author's voice in the audio book version that did it, but I found the narrative extremely grating. The English-class-essay style quotations and excerpts from famously alcoholic famous people (while admittedly the most interesting part of this book) come across as a cheap attempt at drawing parallels - borrowing from someone else's story to enrich her own. I found the author's own story to be a bit of a cliché, to tell the truth. Another rich white girl with daddy issues travels the globe, lives dangerously, but still manages to end up on top.

While she mentions her position of privilege and spends a great deal of time describing the disparity between people of color and Caucasians when it comes to addiction and its treatment, the constant reminder that she herself is upper-class, white, and unburdened by economic or social hardship diminishes the impact. How can you spend a chapter describing the racist history of demonizing Black and Latina mothers who drink or use, then turn around and tell us how you drove home drunk every night without consequence (that you know of)? Yes, all stories matter, but I'd rather read a book representing Own Voices than another commentary from someone without perspective. I feel like she wants the reader to feel sorry for her, by making these comparisons. I only feel disappointed.

I have dealt with mental illness, had an eating disorder, and have loved and cared for an alcoholic. I understand the struggle. That's why I picked this book up in the first place. Unfortunately, I can't help but find myself agreeing with the elderly man in one of her remembered AA meetings: "This is boring."


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