Husband, addict, father, skeptic. Now sixty-with years of sobriety under his belt-the celebrated author of The Los Angeles Diaries and This River returns with his most moving work of memoir yet.
The last in his recovery triptych that started with The Los Angeles Diaries and continued with This River, with Apology to the Young Addict, James Brown writes about finding a new path in life while raising three sons, making peace with the family whose ghosts have haunted him, and helping the next generation of addicts overcome their disease. Opening with the tragic tale of an elderly couple consumed by opioid addiction and moving through the horrors of a Las Vegas massacre to the loss of a beloved sponsor, these essays draw on Brown's personal journey to illustrate how an individual life, in all its messiness and charm, can offer a blueprint for healing. Haunting and hopeful, Apology to the Young Addict is a reinvention of the recovery story and a lasting testimony from the master of the modern memoir.
About the Author
JAMES BROWN is the author of the critically acclaimed memoirs The Los Angeles Diaries and This River. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and the Nelson Algren Literary Award in short fiction. Brown's work has appeared in GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Ploughshares, New England Review, and many other publications. He lives in Lake Arrowhead, California.
"A sensationally-written memoir about the effects of alcoholism and addiction on family as told by the dad of three grown sons." ––Zibby Owens, 1 of 30 Most Anticipated Books of the Year
"James Brown's Apology to the Young Addict does not just breathe new life into addiction writing, it does so with enough grace, heart, and grab-you-by-the-throat style to transcend the genre and qualify as genuine literature. These beautiful essays will serve as balm for survivors of the opioid crisis, those still struggling to make it out, and pretty much anyone else trying to stay sane in these insane times. Prose-wise--with all due respect to his late namesake--James Brown has earned his title as the Godfather of Junkie Soul." --Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight
"James Brown, already among the best memoirists in America, has surpassed his own high standards in Apology to the Young Addict. This superbly written book is about addiction, yes, but it is equally a book about courage, perseverance, love, desperation, recovery, and healing. More than anything, it is a book that reminds us, again and again, of the power of storytelling. In the pages of this heartbreaking but oddly exhilarating memoir, Brown deploys his narrative skills with precision, grace, complexity, and masterfully controlled intensity of emotion. What a fine piece of work." -Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried