The Recovering by Leslie Jamison

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 elec...


Details The Recovering

TitleThe Recovering
ISBN9780316259613
Author
Release DateApr 3rd, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
LanguageEnglish
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Health, Mental Health
Rating

Reviews The Recovering

  • Roxane
    1970-01-01
    This was an interesting book, and one I enjoyed. It is a memoir of the author’s addiction and coming to sobriety alongside a cultural history of writers and addiction. The breath of Jamison’s knowledge on this subject is impressive if, at times, overwhelming. She lovingly details several writers famous for their drinking, and the creative work that rose from that drinking or was stymied. She also looks at some of the sociopolitical implicatio...
  • Michael
    1970-01-01
    My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.Astute and empathetic, Leslie Jamison reinvents the traditional recovery memoir in an attempt to challenge the dominant understanding of addiction as an apolitical and private experience. Jamison juxtaposes several genres against each other, without mixing them together; the book is a collage of memoir, biography, literary analysis, and cultural history. The author's...
  • Elyse Walters
    1970-01-01
    Audiobook....read by the author Leslie Jamison. ( I liked Leslie’s voice & I’m guessing the physical book would be useful to own for some readers) First off ... I’m not an alcoholic. I don’t even drink. But.... maybe if I did I’d look as gorgeous as author Leslie Jaminson? Can I just say - she is ‘stunningly beautiful’....Geee - GORGEOUS! Harvard Grad...Phd from Yale, writer, graduate from the Iowa’s writing workshop.... and oh ye...
  • Maxwell
    1970-01-01
    [4.5 stars]This is such an important book and one that meant a lot to me for various reasons. I appreciate Jamison's candidness—she's very, very open in this book which can be difficult to read. But it's an admirable and accomplished analysis of addiction. It's so much more than a memoir. She looks at other people with addictions, whether artists and writers or just people she meets at AA or in her daily life, and explores different topics that...
  • Diane
    1970-01-01
    This is the best description of alcoholism that I have ever read. I like to joke that I have "an addiction to addiction memoirs," but despite having read a lot of such works, Leslie Jamison managed to surprise me with her marvelous book The Recovering.Part personal story and part research, I loved how Leslie blended her own tale of drunkenness with the stories of other writers and artists who struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. She discuss...
  • Canadian Reader
    1970-01-01
    When Leslie Jamison was nine and her father was forty-nine, she asked him why people drank. That day he told her that drinking was dangerous. It wasn’t dangerous for everyone, he said, “but it was dangerous for us.” Two close relatives were alcoholics—his father and his sister, Phyllis— and, as Jamison later points out, genetics do contribute to alcoholism. Her father was right to warn her. It’s too bad she didn’t heed his words.As ...
  • Thomas
    1970-01-01
    3.5 starsLet me start by sharing that I consider Leslie Jamison a brilliant, brilliant writer. The Recovering is an intelligent, thorough book about addiction that includes cultural history, literary criticism, journalistic reportage, and memoir. Jamison asks thought-provoking questions and explores complex topics with a fresh, sharp eye for nuance, such as: whether our stories need to be unique for them to matter, the extent we all go to fill ou...
  • Hannah Garden
    1970-01-01
    Mommas, don’t let your dissertations grow up to be memoirs._______I just spent most of the afternoon writing a review of this that Goodreads did not save, so please excuse me while I go rip up some trees by their roots.
  • Lee
    1970-01-01
    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 f...
  • Oriana
    1970-01-01
    This here is 500+ pages of the incredible Leslie Jamison "reinventing the recovery memoir." I have the unbelievably luxurious privilege of not being an addict, never really having even brushed up against addiction, so I can't fully account for how deeply moving I find recovery stories. But I do, I do, I am so incredibly in awe of them -- their urgency, their base devastation, the way the cut through all the clutter to thrum around one. single. ne...
  • jeremy
    1970-01-01
    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 addi...
  • Truman32
    1970-01-01
    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 ...
  • Julie Christine
    1970-01-01
    My feelings about Leslie Jamison's The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath are sprawling and messy, deeply personal and intensely curious, just like this book. I couldn't put it down and I couldn't wait for it to end so I could begin breathing again. I read it in search of answers, I read it to be angry, to feel morally superior, to have a reason for my outrage. I read it to feel empathy. The Recovering is an exploration of the mythology...
  • lp
    1970-01-01
    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?
  • Alaina
    1970-01-01
    This is one of the most beautiful and compelling and true books I can remember reading. So full of insights and glistening wisdom that I found myself underlining for the first time in years.Read this if you ever felt there was a “leak sprung inside [you].” Read this if you have struggled with addiction. Read this if you have struggled at all. Read this if you are human.
  • Leo Robertson
    1970-01-01
    Jamison acknowledges that recovery stories are nothing new, really—but worth bearing witness to in their sameness. Certainly I always enjoy reading the myriad ways that people muck up their lives with substances or whatever it is they choose to abuse. (Because we all do it to some extent, right?)Maybe my voracity for this type of material, in fact, left not that much new about it. Odd that Jamison thought it necessary to repeat the narrative of...
  • Melissa
    1970-01-01
    "Dave said he trusted my judgement: If I thought I had to stop, I should stop. But he was careful not to tell me what to do, and I read this care as a sign that I wasn't a real alcoholic. This was a relief. It meant I would be able to start drinking again, maybe after a few weeks, without having to convince him it was okay. By stopping for a while, I would prove - to him, and to myself - that I didn't need it, which would justify starting again. ...
  • Lee
    1970-01-01
    Highly recommended.
  • Victoria
    1970-01-01
    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...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    1970-01-01
    I should start by confessing my love of addiction memoirs. I read so many each year and am completely drawn to them. At this point I did not think it possible that anything could be added to the genre. But little did I know Leslie Jamison was working on this truly extraordinary book with a reader just like me in mind. Jamison’s approach is meta, self aware, complex and brilliant. Her exploration of drunk male writers and the romancing of intoxi...
  • Haley
    1970-01-01
    As some of you know, this year I have been attempting audiobooks. So far this has been a mixed experience (see my review of Blood & Beauty), but I think I have finally discovered a book that works better in an audio form: Leslie Jamison's The Recovering. If I were reading this 500-page memoir, I'm sure I would have quickly become bored, as the material of the work is quite similar throughout and unspools slowly. As a fast (and sometimes impatient...
  • Ella
    1970-01-01
    I normally stay far away from recovery memoirs, having lived one myself and heard thousands more through the years. This book, though, promised to turn "the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that the story of recovery can be every bit as electrifying as the train wreck itself." My ears perked up and I took note. The blurb goes on to say (from the publisher):All the while, she offers a fascinating look at the larger histor...
  • Corey
    1970-01-01
    4,5 STARSAs someone who has read his fair share of addiction memoirs, I can confidently say that I've never read one like this before. THE RECOVERING does hit on the usual conventions of the genre--messy relationships, various "bottoms," relapse, recovery, the struggle with the religious aspect of the AA crowd--but it also goes above and beyond all of these conventions.At its heart, Jamison's "memoir" is in fact an attempt to contextualize hersel...
  • Amy
    1970-01-01
    I feel like I say this everything I'm not blown away by a memoir.. BUTI just hate reviewing memoirs. Its so stressful. I always fee like I'm saying "I'm not a fan of this woman's life." And that's just... not accurate. I'm just not a fan of this story. This was one that I just couldn't connect with. Its fine, I just found it to be slow in the middle and overall repetitive.
  • Sarah
    1970-01-01
    This book is VERY overdue at the library. I thought I would never finish it. I read this because the author is an incandescent writer who enraged me to no end in her first book of essays, The Empathy Exams. There were a lot of shady reviews of this book but I have to say I’m happy for the author as she seems to have made some serious progress with her recovery. It’s affected her entire life. She’s an incredible writer and I’m glad for her...
  • Riva Sciuto
    1970-01-01
    "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 a...
  • Gabriella
    1970-01-01
    Unlike many of y’all, I have made it this far in my life without ever reading The Empathy Exams: Essays, so this is my first encounter with Leslie Jamison’s work. The Recovering is a meandering co-exploration of Jamison’s struggles with alcohol addiction and the struggles of other famous and infamous artists, as well as everyday people she encounters in the news and AA. Throughout this (EXTREMELY LONG) memoir, Jamison keeps a surprisingly g...
  • Daniel Dao
    1970-01-01
    So. Good. This book has caused me to reconsider everything I’ve read and go on some rampant review path.
  • Sarah
    1970-01-01
    Excellent writing about a difficult subject to make interesting: an upper middle class white girl with no real problems discovers that heavy boozing is fun, addictive, and potentially makes her more interesting as a person and as a writer. Her story was fascinating and well-told. I'll admit I glazed over for some of the stories about famous drunk writers because I found hers just much more intriguing. I read it in 3 days.
  • Lissa
    1970-01-01
    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 an...