Sunday, January 06, 2019

Seventeen top books that grapple with addiction

Lisa Levy is a columnist and contributing editor at LitHub and CrimeReads. At the latter she tagged 17 memoirs and novels that grapple with the darkness of addiction, including:
Sara Gran, Dope

Dope is one of those short noir gems of a novel, like James Sallis’s Drive or Charles Willeford’s Pick-Up. The plot is straightforward: in 1950s New York City, a wealthy Long Island couple hires former dope addict Josephine (Joe or Joey to her friends) to try and find their wayward, dope-addicted daughter. As Joe, now a petty thief, makes the rounds of the shooting galleries, bars, and dealers from her former life, she confronts her old demons and some real scumbags. What exalts Dope is Gran’s spare, perfect prose, which provides the perfect vehicle for Joey’s ruminations on heroin: “Every junkie in New York, probably every addict in the world, could step into the conversation at any point and join in. There were a thousand and one topics, but they were all one topic: dope.”
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue