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The Recovering

Intoxication and Its Aftermath

By Leslie Jamison
Narrated by Leslie Jamison / 16 hours 6 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

The Recovering

“I've loved everything Leslie Jamison's written, but best of all so far is The Recovering, a memoir/history/criticism-hybrid that takes addiction and recovery as its subject. Every time I sat down with this book, I felt like I was in the company of my smartest friend, someone who knew all the right words for life's greatest pleasures and pains. Her book moves fluidly from personal remembrances to perfectly synthesized research into how and why people (herself and artists and others) elect to warp their consciousness with substances. The Recovering is a thorough and thoughtful look at many of our worst and some of our best tendencies, and Jamison's continually compelling style makes it a delight to read.”

Bank Square Books image John Francisconi, Bank Square Books

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Empathy Exams, a transformative work showing that sometimes the recovery is more gripping than the addiction.

With its deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and 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 complicated bearing that race and class have on our understanding of who is criminal and who is ill.

At the heart of the book is Jamison's ongoing conversation with literary and artistic geniuses whose lives and works were shaped by alcoholism and substance dependence, including John Berryman, Jean Rhys, Billie Holiday, Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, and David Foster Wallace, as well as brilliant lesser-known figures such as George Cain, lost to obscurity but newly illuminated here. Through its unvarnished relation of Jamison's own ordeals, The Recovering also becomes a book about a different kind of dependency: the way our desires can make us all, as she puts it, "broken spigots of need." It's about the particular loneliness of the human experience-the craving for love that both devours us and shapes who we are.

For her striking language and 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.

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“You don't need to be an addict to be enthralled by The Recovering. This book is for anyone interested in a dazzlingly brilliant, uncommonly compassionate, and often hilarious study of human nature...”

Mary-Louise Parker, author of New York Times bestseller Dear Mr. You

“Graceful, forensic, and intimate, The Recovering sets a new bar in addiction studies. It is a courageous and brilliant example of what nonfiction writing can do.”

Chris Kraus , author of I Love Dick

Reviews

“The crawl back up to sobriety is as engrossing as the downward spiral in this unsparing and luminous autobiographical study of alcoholism...The dark humor, evocative prose, and clear-eyed, heartfelt insights Jamison deploys here only underscore her reputation as a writer of fearsome talent.”

Publisher's Weekly

About the Author

Leslie Jamison is the author of the essay collection The Empathy Exams, a New York Times bestseller, and the novel The Gin Closet, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and the Oxford American, among others, and she is a columnist for the New York Times Book Review. She teaches at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn with her family.


Related Reading

Author
Narrator Leslie Jamison
ISBN 9781478903253
Length 16 hours 6 minutes
Language English
Publisher Hachette Audio
Publication Date
Abridged No
Libro.fm Rank #649 Overall
Genre Rank #40 in Self-Improvement
 

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