By the New York Times bestselling author of THE EMPATHY EXAMS, an exploration of addiction, and the stories we tell about it, that reinvents the traditional recovery memoir.With its deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and journalistic reportage, The Recovering turns our understanding of the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that the story of recovery can be every bit as electrifying as the train wreck itself. Leslie Jamison deftly excavates the stories we tell about addiction--both her own and others'--and examines what we want these stories to do, and what happens when they fail us.All the while, she offers a fascinating look at the larger history of the recovery movement, and at the literary and artistic geniuses whose lives and works were shaped by alcoholism and substance dependence, including John Berryman, Jean Rhys, Raymond Carver, Billie Holiday, David Foster Wallace, and Denis Johnson, as well as brilliant figures lost to obscurity but newly illuminated here.For the power of her striking language and the sharpness of her piercing observations, Jamison has been compared to such iconic writers as Joan Didion and Susan Sontag. Yet her utterly singular voice also offers something new. With enormous empathy and wisdom, Jamison has given us nothing less than the story of addiction and recovery in America writ large, a definitive and revelatory account that will resonate for years to come....
|Title||:||The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath|
|Number of Pages||:||544 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath|
The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath Reviews
Brilliant. A tour-de-force from one of my favorite living writers.
"When you're hungry for wisdom, it's everywhere."
As a big fan of 'The Empathy Exams,' I was eager to read Leslie Jamison's new memoir. Sadly, though, 'The Recovering' didn't resonate with me nearly as much as I had hoped. While she acknowledges the universality of her struggle with alcoholism -- and, in fact, says its "redundancy" is what makes it relatable -- she fails to differentiate her experience in a way meaningful enough to warrant an almost 500-page memoir.
However, though I found thi ...more
I'm a recovering addict who was looking forward to this book, but found it infuriating, exploitative,narcissistic, and bougie. While Jamison's writing is lyrical, descriptive, and beautiful; her story lacks credibility. She insists that she wants to write a different kind of recovery story and has the audacity to compare her life to real addicts like Billie Holiday and Charles Jackson. Jamison amplifies normal college binge drinking experiences for dramatic purposes. She carefully catalogues her ...more
I feel super conflicted about my reading experience with this one. I was so captivated by the first third--like with all of Empathy Exams, I just wanted to bury my face and soak in Jamison's ideas and connections. By the middle of the book, I'd lost the thread and had to force myself to press on. As I tried to pinpoint what was dragging the narrative down for me, I felt the author preemptively running circles around my latent arguments (e.g. "you're only bored by this section because literary cu ...more
Mixed feelings about this one. Like many, I'm a big fan of The Empathy Exams and am always on the lookout for new articles and essays from Leslie Jamison. This book is....large and expansive. It tells Jamison's personal story of addiction alongside the history of addiction among other famous creatives and sociological analyses of things like AA and the criminalization of addiction. It's part memoir and part researched nonfiction, and I don't know if it works. I could easily see this being two se ...more
I was in the middle of this book when I read a few critical reviews of it as being bloated and self-indulgent and privileged etc. I liked it a lot. I have no personal issues with drugs or alcohol or addiction to them, but Jamison's book is not just about getting drunk and going to AA. It's about wanting and hunger and the stories we tell about our lives. I really enjoy an honest and well-written memoir and I found this one to be a really easy and warm read like a good conversation with a smart f ...more
Leslie Jamison’s captivating and exceptionally written book, The Recovering, is part addiction memoir and part rumination on the impact addiction plays on creating art. It’s a hybrid like a Cockapoo, or Taco Bell’s French Toast Chalupa. In between retellings of sneaking drinks and sad drunken debacles, Jamison worries that her recovery may signal the end of her creativity and artistic talent.
I was struck by how much The Recovering was like the 14th most populous city in America: Columbus, Ohio. ...more
I really enjoyed Leslie Jamison's memoir/history of alcoholic writers/ideas about "sober genius" - and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was most interested in all the parts that took place in my town (look, there's The Foxhead! Java House! I know where that bakery is!). There are a lot of personal stories in this book and I think Jamison does all of them justice.
That said, I do think that Jamison doesn't quite make her point - that getting sober doesn't stifle creativity. Her examples, Carver ...more