Top Four Recovery Memoirs, Then and Now

Four of our favorite addiction memoirs, and seeing where the authors—Jerry Stahl, Colin Broderick, Joe Clifford and Alan Kaufman—are today.

recovery-books“I kept getting high to kill my shame at the fact that I kept getting high.” -Jerry Stahl from Permanent Midnight

The genre of addiction and recovery memoirs has been increasing in popularity over the last decade or so. There is now an abundance of books that fit this description on the market.

A few of these works stand out for their powerful writing and ability to uniquely capture the horror of addiction while not giving into sensationalism. Imagine riding a roller coaster without being strapped in and realizing midway through that no one is manning the ride.

I have made a list of my Top Four. In each of these books, I have gotten to the last page, closed the book and felt as if I had lived another person’s life for a while. And then wondered—what happened to these writers after that last page?

Luckily, I got to find out “where they are now” directly from the authors themselves. Below are my Top Four as well as a follow-up with each of the writers.

Drunken Angel by Alan Kaufman is, at times, a brutal read. Mr. Kaufman, the son of a French Holocaust survivor, takes his reader on a dark journey fueled by PTSD and a powerful drive to self-destruct. Mr. Kaufman seeks obliteration in the bottle, in relationships and in his work until, eventually homeless, he meets a fellow traveler on the dark path who becomes instrumental in changing the author’s destiny. Read more “the fix”…

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