Written by: Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams, The Gin Closet)
Publish date: April 3
If you loved Leslie Jamison’s break-out hit essay collection, The Empathy Exams, let me say: this is even better. If you didn’t love that first book, or haven’t heard of Jamison before, let me say: this book is fucking amazing. Part memoir of Jamison’s alcoholism and recovery, part critical inquiry into the myth of the addict-genius artist, part cultural history of addiction treatment in America, this is a beautiful behemoth of a book, 544 pages that absolutely fly by. Jamison is a notably lyrical writer, but what really shines is her curious, generous, sensitive mind, as she reframes stories we think we know -- John Cheever, Amy Winehouse, the War on Drugs itself -- and shines a light on new ones. In bringing together the voices of great artists, everyman alcoholics, and Jamison’s own past, she replicates the story-sharing of an AA meeting. It’s a rich and powerful chorus.