10/13/2009 (5:35 pm)

Lit event 11/15

Filed under: Uncategorized |

adderall diaries

Okay, mark your calendars. A really great writer is coming to Rosendale for an afternoon reading, hosted by yours truly.


Who: Stephen Elliott, author of “The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism and Murder,” and editor of cool online lit mag, The Rumpus
What: a reading/book-signing/Q&A
When: Sunday, November 15th, 4 pm
Where: Market Market, 1 Madeline Lane, at the corner of route 32.

I blew through an advanced reader copy of this bracing, sometimes disturbing memoir in just a couple of days. Brian devoured it in under 24 hours. The writing was beautiful, the story was gripping, and my mind and heart were pried open in ways I didn’t expect they could be by a story that is a lot about violence and crime.

This book is about so many things. It’s about Stephen Elliott, who spent his teen years in group homes and on the street surrounded by violence and drugs, and wrestling with his own psychological demons as well as his relationship with his abusive (maybe murderer) father. It’s about Elliott closely following the murder trial of someone he knew tangentially through the San Francisco S&M scene. It’s about people – three of them, specifically – confessing to murders they might not have committed. And about how every person involved in a situation might have a different, and equally valid, “truth” about said situation.

Above all, for me, “The Adderall Diaries” is about being a writer, especially one who writes from personal experience. Elliott is brave in his willingness to plumb the depths of his experiences and shamelessly reveal himself on the page. He writes about feeling conflicted over inadvertently revealing other people’s sordid – or even not-so-sordid but private – stories in the process. I was inspired not only as a writer who is constantly laboring to summon the courage to reveal my truth, but also simply as a human being who has experienced many of the uncomfortable emotions Elliott doesn’t flinch in copping to.

What people are saying about the book:
Vanity Fair: “Elliott may be writing under the influence, but it’s the influence of genius.”
Amy Tan: “Reading the Adderall Diaries is like peering over the edge of a cliff. Normally we step back. Stephen Elliott jumps, and his harrowing, riveting memoir convinces you to follow him vicariously.”
Jerry Stahl: “Phenomenal…Stephen Elliott may well have written the memoir of an entire generation.”

Smithmag.com has both an excerpt from the book and an interview with Stephen Elliott.

Check those out, buy the book, and then check this event out. You won’t be sorry.

Me, I’m honored he granted my request to make this little stop on his unique book tour, where he’s mostly reading/signing books in people’s living rooms. And I’m hoping to divine some of his courage by way of osmosis when he’s here.


October 28, 2009 @ 7:47 pm #

ok, wow, i’m sold. i plan to be there!

October 29, 2009 @ 3:43 pm #

Glad! See you there.

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