don't think I have much of a story to tell, and if I did, I'm not sure
I'd share it with the world. I glad, however, that some people are
willing to let us see what's it's like to take a walk in their shoes.
Augusten Burroughs is one such person.
Just when I broke my sobriety and started drinking again in moderate and controlled measure exactly like a normal person, I met this guy who wasn't just a guy but a writer, and not just a writer but the author of one my favorite books.—Lust & Wonder by Augusten Burroughs (St Martin's Press, 2016, p. 3)
- Setting: contemporary New York City (mostly)
- Circumstances: Augusten Burroughs writes with incredible frankness and honesty about his struggles with alcohol and relationships and the arc of his writing career.
- Themes: self-acceptance, coming into oneself, clarity, alcoholism, love
- Genre: memoir
- Thoughts: Burroughs is one of the few people willing to share the ugly truths about themselves; he's brave and funny and holds little back. He reveals the lowest of lows when he gives in completely to his drinking as well as the false hopes that come with convenient relationships. He talks about sexual dysfunction and the loss of friends to AIDS. Yet, despite these dark themes, he maintains a sense of humor and a modicum of optimism, never giving up on the idea that things will work out, that he'll find love, and that the future surly has some lasting happiness.
- Recommendations: If you're looking for an inspirational memoir, you'll not really find it in Burroughs. If you're looking for honesty, then he's your guy. As his editor notes, reading Burroughs's memoirs is like talking to a really good friend. You might be shocked by the stories, but you never doubt that he's a decent person who deserves more. His journey to inner peace has been long and hard, and I hope that he has at last found a safe person and place to call home.
- Things to know: Among novels and other work, Augusten Burroughs has written two other memoirs: Running with Scissors is about his childhood and Dry is about his coming to terms with his addiction. You don't have to read these to understand Lust & Wonder, but why miss out?