Monday, November 21, 2022

Seven books about the pharmaco-industrial complex

Anne K. Yoder's fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in Fence, BOMB, Tin House, NY Tyrant, and MAKE, among other publications. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks and is a staff writer for The Millions. She writes, lives, and occasionally dispenses pharmaceuticals in Chicago.

Yoder's new novel is The Enhancers.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven "books I’ve encountered, read, and collected that speak to pharmaceuticals and the pharmaco-industrial complex in myriad ways," including:
Attention! A Love Story by Casey Schwartz

Casey Schwartz first chronicled her Ivy League and post-grad love affair with Adderall for the New York Times—the way it made her feel so focused and as if she exceeded her own limitations of mind. The attraction to this seemingly heightened focus belongs not just Schwartz but has become a cultural quandary as we’re surrounded by devices designed to distract. Adderall’s allure, Schwartz finds, falls short of its seeming promise—in the end causing panic and standing in the way of meaningful engagement. Schwartz goes on to chronicle antidepressants by way of DFW and psychoactive drugs à la Aldous Huxley. In a conversation with Joshua Cohen (who also wrote a book on attention), Schwartz admits that part of her impulse in writing this book was the search for a lost, let’s say more idyllic, baseline.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue