The Recovering | Granta

  • Published: 03/05/2018
  • ISBN: 9781783781522
  • 153x20mm
  • 272 pages

The Recovering

Leslie Jamison

Addiction is seemingly inexplicable. From the outside, it can look like wilful, arrogant self-destruction; from the inside, it can feel as inevitable and insistent as a heartbeat. It is possible to describe, but hard to explore. Yet in The Recovering, Leslie Jamison draws on her own life and the lives of addicts of extraordinary talent – John Cheever, John Berryman, Jean Rhys and Amy Winehouse among them – to take us inside the experience of addiction, exposing the contours, edges and wholes of an intoxicated life.

Part memoir, part group biography, part literary history and part definitive analysis of cultural and social considerations of addiction, The Recovering is a significant moment in the history of post-war narrative non-fiction.

Leslie Jamison has written an honest and important book, vivid writing and required reading

Stephen King

Leslie Jamison's The Recovering is a definitive investigation of both the romance of intoxication and the possibilities for recovery. Graceful, forensic, The Recovering sets a new bar in addiction studies. It is a courageous and brilliant example of what nonfiction writing can do

Chris Kraus

Leslie Jamison writes about the highs of dependency and also about the highs of recovery. Her prose is so sharp and evocative that the reader feels the thrilling trickle of alcohol down the back of the throat, and breathes the struggle for health and freedom. Jamison demonstrates great wit, penetrating intellect, and an enormous heart. This strangely exhilarating book is about recovery, but it is more resonantly a book about desire, consciousness, kindness, self-control, and love-and hence a Tolstoyan study of the human condition

Andrew Solomon

The Author

Leslie Jamison grew up in Los Angeles. Educated at Harvard College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has also worked as an innkeeper in California, a schoolteacher in Nicaragua, and an office temp in Manhattan. She is the NewYork Times bestselling author of The Recovering and The Empathy Exams, as well as a novel, The Gin Closet. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The Atlantic,Oxford American, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the New York Times Magazine, where she is a contributing writer. She directs the graduate nonfiction program at Columbia University.

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