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Happy: A Memoirby Alex Lemon
Synopses & Reviews
His freshman year of college, Alex Lemon was supposed to be the star catcher on the Macalester College baseball team. He was the boy getting every girl, the hard-partying kid everyone called Happy. In the spring of 1997, he had his first stroke. For two years Lemon coped with his deteriorating health by sinking deeper into alcohol and drug abuse. His charming and carefree exterior masked his self-destructive and sometimes cruel behavior as he endured two more brain bleeds and a crippling depression. After undergoing brain surgery, he is nursed back to health by his free-spirited artist mother, who once again teaches him to stand on his own.
Alive with unexpected humor and sensuality, Happy is a hypnotic self-portrait of a young man confronting the wreckage of his own body; it is also the deeply moving story of a mother’s redemptive and healing powers. Alex Lemon’s Technicolor sentences pop and sing as he writes about survival—of the body and of the human spirit.
“One of our time's most compelling memoirs...An electrifying portrait of a body in crisis.” Esquire
"Alex Lemon takes his reader inside the terror and strangeness of illness — and gives us, along the way, a loving portrait of a devoted, wonderfully nutty mother. Lemon is a brave, headlong writer, and he captures the life of the body with vivid and memorable intensity." Mark Doty, author of Dog Years and Fire to Fire
"Happy unfurls like gauze, revealing not a wound, but a series of intricate and beautiful scars. Alex reminds us that though we can't make it through this life unscathed, we can make it through transformed." Robin Romm, author of The Mercy Papers and The Mother Garden
“Alex Lemon makes Happy harrowing and upbeat, writing with a poet's touch about the illness that overtook his jock life….Nonfiction writers and poets have a secret alliance — working toward defining a truth instead of making it up. So when we get a twofer of a poet writing memoir, the results trend toward glinting precision.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Happy is graphically raw and in-your-face; Lemon's dexterity with words forces the reader into gritty latitudes no one would visit voluntarily, and the level of detail will cause some readers to squirm. But Happy is an honest voyage into Lemon's keen mind, remarkable spirit and loving heart, and it shouldn't be missed.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
A poet's electrifying memoir about his struggles with his past, his addictions, and the wreckage of his body after his first stroke at the age of 19.
About the Author
Alex Lemon was born in Iowa, and lives in Ft. Worth, Texas. He is the author of two collections of poetry, Mosquito (Tin House Books) and Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions), and is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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