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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us



Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is... Continue »
  1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Before, During, After

    Richard Bausch 9780307266262

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bmarsden33 has commented on (1) product.

A Life in Smoke: A Memoir by Julia. Hansen
A Life in Smoke: A Memoir

bmarsden33, June 13, 2007

This has got to be one of the Top 5 Memoirs of all-time, AND one of the Top 5 books about Addiction. With A LIFE IN SMOKE, Julia Hansen speaks to addicts of all descriptions, not only nicotine addicts. The format of the book--alternating between the seven days she spends chained to her house and a chronological recounting of her life from birth to present-day--is brilliant. She recounts her personal history with family, career, and relationships in a very straightforward and engaging manner, but it is when she describes her relationship with her addiction that I hear bells of recognition and understanding ringing loud and clear across the pages. No other addiction memoir I have read has spoken to me so directly and with such simple, personable, and true intimate knowledge of what it is to be an addict, why addicts do what they do, and how addiction becomes the foundation of a person's entire life and identity. Hansen's relationship with cigarettes is as intimate and volatile as any destructive, co-dependent human relationship, perhaps more so. Her story reads like a long talk with your oldest friend--it comforts, it offers honest insight and explanations, and it keeps me company as I wage my own minute-by-minute battle with addiction. I wish every person in my life could read this book and gain a deeper understanding of the baffling conundrum that is addiction.
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