Drug Literature

In my current semester at Brock University, I am enrolled in a course called Life Writing, and I am really enjoying it. The professor divided the course into two major thematic concepts, and our readings for the course have been based entirely off of these two themes. The theme for the first half of the course was drug literature, and the current theme for the remainder of the course is war literature.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect for the first half of the course. Going into it, I was sort of under the assumption we would be reading texts that explained the countless and awful side effects of hard drug use and addiction. This, however, was not entirely the case, and although a lot of the books we studied did touch on the long-term consequences of drug addiction, most of them turned out to be some of the best books I have ever read. Some were fiction, others were non-fiction, but all of them were so enthralling and interesting.

One text that particularly stood out to me was American Junkie by Tom Hansen. It is an autobiography of Hansen’s own Heroin addiction, and is so fascinating because he even includes actual copies of his medical records from when he was admitted to a hospital. My professor is actually a personal friend of Hansen, which is why he assigned us the text to read for his course.

We also read A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Despite the wholescandal surrounding the book, and how Frey claimed it was his autobiography but an article produced by The Smoking Gun proved his whole story was a hoax, I really, really liked the book. It was incredibly visual and easy to read, probably because the characters were so dynamic and it was easy to get caught up in their stories.

Have you ever read addiction literature? If so, what? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading :)

– Lauren

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