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The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath Audiobook, by Leslie Jamison Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Leslie Jamison Narrator: Leslie Jamison Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2018 ISBN: 9781478903253
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Empathy Exams, a transformative work showing that sometimes the recovery is more gripping than the addiction

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Jamison easily captures the intimate feel of her writing style…[and] enmeshes listeners in her early adulthood and the endless forms of agonizing pain—and blissful pleasure—that she experienced via drugs and alcohol…It’s doubtful that another narrator could have engaged listeners so deeply in such a difficult and timeless issue.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “An honest and important book…Vivid writing and required reading.”

    Stephen King, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “This book is a beautiful mess and well worth reading.”

    Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Instead of solving the mystery of why she drank, she does something worthier, digging underneath the big emptiness that lives inside every addict to find something profound.”

    Time

  • “Jamison writes plainly but vividly, again, about pain and redemption.”

    Vogue

  • “Wholly original…By the end of this wonderful book, we discover that the author has indeed become someone different: She’s sober, successful, and happy.”

    USA Today (3½ stars)

  • “There’s something profound at work here, a truth about how we grow into ourselves that rings achingly wise and burrows painfully deep.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Jamison[‘s] new book, which blends her memoir of recovery with cultural history, can only add to her growing literary reputation.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Part memoir and part reportage, this fascinating book… breaks down how society has long romanticized both addiction and sobriety. "

    Real Simple

  • “‘Reason for addiction: To avoid monotony of living,’ reads the intake form of a man named Robert Burnes, at one time a patient at the Narcotics Farm in Lexington, Kentucky…Burnes’ presence highlights one of the brilliant, and unexpected, moves in The Recovering: Jamison’s decision to make room for other voices, other experiences.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “This is a poignant, heartfelt, deeply brave masterpiece that opens up an important conversation, and Jamison writes so eloquently about such a difficult topic.”

    BuzzFeed

  • “Jamison tells the story of use and misuse, of falling apart and putting herself back together…She tells my story and the story of so many others who have found themselves compelled to use substances as a salve and found they couldn’t stop.”

    Bitch magazine

  • "[Jamison] takes her blend of the personal, reportorial, and scholarly to expansive new lengths and depths with a discursive examination of addictions…Her case studies, as well as the power of addiction as metaphor, that really make it stand out.”

    Vulture

  • “Using a blend of memoir, investigative reporting, and literary criticism, Jamison deftly tells a new narrative about recovery, the history of recovery, the criminalization of addiction, and more.”

    BookRiot

  • “Uninterested in telling her own story as if it occurs in a vacuum, [Jamison] draws together several others’, as well as their contributing social forces…The result is a staggering investigation into cultural assumptions about addicts and a necessary critique of a literary scene that idolizes the drunken genius.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “The crawl back up to sobriety is as engrossing as the downward spiral in this unsparing and luminous autobiographical study…The dark humor, evocative prose, and clear-eyed, heartfelt insights Jamison deploys here only underscore her reputation as a writer of fearsome talent.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Smart, introspective, and honest; a deeply human book that sheds light on something often kept in the dark.”

    Shondaland

  • An Entertainment Weekly Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2018
  • An Elle Magazine Pick of Upcoming Books
  • A Vogue Pick of 2018's Most Anticipated Books
  • A Boston Globe Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2018
  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick of Amazing New Books You Need to Read This Spring
  • A Real Simple Pick of Best Books of 2018 So Far
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month Selection in Biographies and Memoirs
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of 9 Women Writing Bold Memoirs
  • A Bustle Pick of New Books to Read This Week
  • A Vulture.com Pick for April
  • A USA Today Pick of the Week
  • A BookRiot Pick of New Audiobooks
  • A Bitch magazine pick
  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • A Refinery29 Pick of Books We Can't Wait to Read
  • A Millions.com Pick of Top Ten Readers Picks
  • Longlisted for the Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize for Nonfiction

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About the Author

Leslie Jamison is an author whose novel, The Gin Closet, was a Los Angeles Times First Fiction Prize finalist and San Francisco Chronicle notable book of 2010. Her bestselling essay collection, The Empathy Exams, was named a New York Times Notable Book and a “Best Book” by NPR. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and the Oxford American, among others, and she is a columnist for the New York Times Book Review. was born in Washington DC and grew up in Los Angeles. She has attended Harvard University, Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and Yale University. She teaches at Columbia University.