Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What is Trysh Travis reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Trysh Travis, author of The Language of the Heart: A Cultural History of the Recovery Movement from Alcoholics Anonymous to Oprah Winfrey.

Her entry begins:
Having spent the last 8 years reading and writing about 12-Step recovery, I decided to wind down from my research by doing a little reading about addiction. I started off with David and Nic Sheff’s father-son memoirs about crystal meth: Beautiful Boy and Tweak.

The younger Sheff became addicted to meth in college after being a run of the mill adolescent partier. His father’s book ponders whether his frankness about his own youthful drug use and his lackadaisical attitude towards his son’s drinking and pot smoking in high school created the conditions for Nic’s devastating dependence on harder drugs later on. The books raise some interesting questions about “permissive” parenting in post-‘60s America: both come down hard on Sheff pere for having gotten divorced and subjected fils to a joint custody arrangement that had him spending summers and holidays with his working mother. Both seem to agree that the father tried too hard to be his son’s friend, denying him a “normal” childhood even as he...[read on]
Among the praise for The Language of the Heart:
"Tracing the rise and diffusion of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program from subculture to pop culture, Travis provides an excellent history of the recovery movement. Destined to be a landmark in the field."
--Joan D. Hedrick, Trinity College

"Travis's understanding of the recovery movement has profound implications for several established academic disciplines as well as for the incipient cross-disciplinary field of alcohol and addiction studies."
--John W. Crowley, University of Alabama
Read an excerpt from The Language of the Heart, and learn more about the book at the publisher's website.

Trysh Travis is Assistant Professor & Undergraduate Coordinator at the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research at the University of Florida.

Writers Read: Trysh Travis.

--Marshal Zeringue