The Recovering
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.

The Recovering Details

TitleThe Recovering
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 3rd, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
ISBN-139780316259613
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography Memoir

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The Recovering Review

  • jeremy
    January 1, 1970
    whatever beauty comes from pain can't usually be traded back for happiness. leslie jamison's new book, the recovering: intoxication and its aftermath, straddles several genres at once, coalescing to form a candid, incisive, empathetic, and magnificently composed work about addiction and recovery. with her own personal tale of alcoholism, relapse, and ultimate recovery as narrative anchor, jamison explores the lives of fellow writers for whom addiction was a constant battle (carver, berryman, rh whatever beauty comes from pain can't usually be traded back for happiness. leslie jamison's new book, the recovering: intoxication and its aftermath, straddles several genres at once, coalescing to form a candid, incisive, empathetic, and magnificently composed work about addiction and recovery. with her own personal tale of alcoholism, relapse, and ultimate recovery as narrative anchor, jamison explores the lives of fellow writers for whom addiction was a constant battle (carver, berryman, rhys, etc.), reports on the long history of addiction treatment (especially alcoholics anonymous), and considers a culture increasingly encumbered by addiction (and its pervasive, devastating consequences).as evidenced in her wonderful essay collection, the empathy exams, jamison's writing is frequently breathtaking to behold. her gifted prose coupled with curiosity, reflection, and a deep humanity lend the recovering an emotionality both resonant and affecting. jamison's personal struggles are often difficult (and sad) to read about from a remove, though she lays bare head and heart alike in contending with her alcoholism and all it had wrought. wrenching at times, the recovering is a sobering account of addiction – and jamison's bravery in so eloquently, so disarmingly relating her tale within the context of so many other battles (whether won or lost) renders her memoir humbling and unforgettable. but this was something that kept happening in sobriety, understanding that everyone—your boss, your bank teller, your baker, even your partner—was waking up every fucking day and dealing with shit you couldn't even imagine.
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  • lp
    January 1, 1970
    Leslie Jamison is a master. Nobody thinks like her, nobody writes like her. I don't know how she manages to tell her story perfectly braided with the stories of others—regular others who have recovered from alcohol addiction and famous writers. This book is funny and a gut punch. Everyone can relate because it asks the question: why do we desire things that are so destructive?
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant. A tour-de-force from one of my favorite living writers.
  • Lissa
    January 1, 1970
    Leslie Jamison is the author of a popular collection of essays, The Empathy Exams. With this book she follows her own experiences with alcoholism and recovery interspersed with other writer’s struggles. She explores the connection between addiction and creativity and discusses whether it is a necessary connection. I found Jamison’s account to be an insightful look at the ways in which addiction occurs and the affect it has on relationships and the creative process and her sections on recovery ar Leslie Jamison is the author of a popular collection of essays, The Empathy Exams. With this book she follows her own experiences with alcoholism and recovery interspersed with other writer’s struggles. She explores the connection between addiction and creativity and discusses whether it is a necessary connection. I found Jamison’s account to be an insightful look at the ways in which addiction occurs and the affect it has on relationships and the creative process and her sections on recovery are revelatory. While, I enjoyed the parts concerning other authors, such as Jean Rhys and David Foster Wallace, towards the end I found those sections to drag a bit more. Overall, I finished this book with a greater understanding of what drives addiction and impedes recovery. I received a digital ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sara Leonard
    January 1, 1970
    As stated by Jamison in The Recovering, the only thing more cliche than the term "recovery memoir" is a blurb stating a book is "not the average recovery memoir." However, The Recovering may be an exemption, because it is as much memoir as it is a history of alcoholism, both in romanticized authors and ordinary people. Jamison's honesty is brutal, and her research seamlessly blends with anecdotes from AA and recollections from her relationship with addiction. It goes without saying that Jamison' As stated by Jamison in The Recovering, the only thing more cliche than the term "recovery memoir" is a blurb stating a book is "not the average recovery memoir." However, The Recovering may be an exemption, because it is as much memoir as it is a history of alcoholism, both in romanticized authors and ordinary people. Jamison's honesty is brutal, and her research seamlessly blends with anecdotes from AA and recollections from her relationship with addiction. It goes without saying that Jamison's exploration into the seeming underwhelming world of sobriety is far from average.
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  • Jenni
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Facts:-I think I would like Leslie Jamison very, very much if we met. -Her books are not for me.-I am so glad she exists and is writing. I love what she writes about, and think she is laser-sharp. Her particular authorial voice is not to my taste.
  • Lindsey Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath is a poignant, insightful examination of alcoholism from an intimate personal perspective; it reads like a memoir interspersed with cultural and historical accounts of alcoholism. Jamison’s prose is powerful, lyrical, and engaging. Her words grab hold of your head and your heart and won’t let go until the last page. In a society where casual alcoholism is overlooked, and sometimes even encouraged, this engaging and intimate study illuminates The Add The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath is a poignant, insightful examination of alcoholism from an intimate personal perspective; it reads like a memoir interspersed with cultural and historical accounts of alcoholism. Jamison’s prose is powerful, lyrical, and engaging. Her words grab hold of your head and your heart and won’t let go until the last page. In a society where casual alcoholism is overlooked, and sometimes even encouraged, this engaging and intimate study illuminates The Addict’s relationship to society and recovery.
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  • Parker
    January 1, 1970
    Really a beautiful and thoughtful book, that combines a writer's memoir with a history of addiction and how it's perceived (and treated). It might seem hard to balance those two narratives, Jamison's own with that of the whole world of intoxication, addiction, and recovery, but she does so pretty masterfully, and it's a joy to read the entire time.
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  • Kent Winward
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book about intoxication and recovery of course, but the title is actually misleading. This falls into a sub-genre of the memoir perfected by Geoff Dyer and David Shields, to which Jamison stakes her claim of belonging as well: the literary-history-criticism memoir. Jamison's slant is to mine the rich field of addiction/recovery literature from Raymond Carver to David Foster Wallace via memoir. The interjection of literature into the addiction memoir genre made this feel fresh.
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  • Jaime
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so beautiful. Beautiful memoir, thoughtful investigation of the writing and lives of drinking and sober writers, and something more at the intersection of the two.
  • Deedee
    January 1, 1970
    Dewey 616.86FAY-PT
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