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Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery Paperback – July 6, 2021
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—Beth Macy, The New York Times Book Review
"[A] powerful recovery memoir, in part because Barnett uses her investigative reporting skills to examine how detox centers and treatment rehabs operate."
—The Seattle Times
"Barnett is . . . candid about her failings, unsparing in the details . . . regarding addiction to alcohol. It can overtake a person's life, debase a person, drag a person into depths of disgraceful behavior; I'm living proof, she tells us."
—The Austin Chronicle
"As addiction has become more of a national conversation, thanks in part to bestselling books like Leslie Jamison’s The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath, women authors have been at the forefront. . . . Erica C. Barnett’s memoir continues this important work. . . . By the time Barnett was in her late 30s, she’s recovered and relapsed countless times, giving her a unique and eye-opening perspective about the language we use to discuss addiction ('Rock bottom is a lie,' she writes) and how few resources are available to people with addictions who continue to relapse."
—Bitch Media’s "17 Books Feminists Should Read in July"
"Journalist Barnett debuts with an intense account of her alcoholism, denial, and, ultimately, redemption. . . . Barnett’s snappy prose carries the reader through several rounds of rehab before the final one sticks, pulling no punches as she goes. Barnett doesn’t skimp on her life’s lows (she goes to an interview drunk, and shoplifts wine) of how her ever-worsening problem caused her to lose her health, her job, and many of her friends, and alienate her family. . . . Emotionally devastating and self-aware, this cautionary tale about substance abuse is a worthy heir to Cat Marnell’s How to Murder Your Life."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A Seattle-based political reporter recounts her tumultuous, nearly deadly dance with the bottle. . . . Barnett rises to the challenge with a witty, self-deprecating, sometimes snide voice. . . . If you’re in the mood for a well-written, relatable, rock-bottom recovery memoir, this will hit the spot.”
“I can’t think of another memoir that captures the nightmare of drinking relapse like this one. Erica Barnett’s tale is brutal, maddening, and beautiful. Quitter will give hope to anyone afraid they can't ever get this thing. Hang in there. You just might.”
—Sarah Hepola, New York Times bestselling author of Blackout
“[Barnett] paints a grotesque portrait of the horror show that is alcoholism with great skill and style. I tore through this book.”
—Cat Marnell, New York Times bestselling author of How to Murder Your Life
“Quitter is all these things: a beautifully told story of one woman's descent into darkness; a rigorously researched exploration of the causes and treatments of alcohol abuse; a furious howl of pain. Erica C. Barnett has written a female story of addiction that moves beyond clichés and accepted truths. I loved this book, in all its raging glory.”
—Claire Dederer, author of Love and Trouble
“Barnett writes with seismic clarity on the baffling nature of the early morning vodka trip and the anguish and relief it produces in equal measure. This book understands what it is like to fail but have that last bit of hope. Remarkable writing on a disease that effects so many. Quitter is the new manual for those seeking a recovered life.”
—Erin Lee Carr, author of All That You Leave Behind; director of I Love You, Now Die and At the Heart of Gold
“Erica Barnett’s Quitter is a harrowing, deeply truthful account of her long journey through alcoholism and repeated relapse—an addiction consequence so common that Barnett calls it ‘almost inevitable,’ yet one to which most treatment methodologies pay scant attention. Barnett doesn’t flinch in showing the impact of her ever-worsening relapses on her health, career, and even her most steadfast relationships, and she holds herself to account while also making it clear how the treatment system failed her. In addition to being a riveting, suspenseful read, Quitter will also start important conversations about how addicts can best be helped at all stages of the recovery cycle. An essential addition to literature of addiction.”
—Kristi Coulter, author of Nothing Good Can Come From This
“Erica Barnett’s Quitter is an impeccably researched, long-overdue examination of America’s billion-dollar addiction industry and its decidedly mixed record of success. Drawing from her own painful experience in countless hospitals, rehabs and treatment centers, Barnett bravely tackles the limitations and sacred cows of the 12-step-movement while also acknowledging the vital role it has played in rescuing thousands of addicts and alcoholics from desperate cycles of despair. In her hard-won quest for sobriety she discovers that it’s possible for even the most hopeless addicts to recover if they are willing to give up pre-conceived notions about what recovery looks like and how to get there.”
—Maer Roshan, author of Courtney Comes Clean
About the Author
- Publisher : Penguin Books (July 6, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0525522344
- ISBN-13 : 978-0525522348
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #58,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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As somebody who recently decided to quit drinking again, reading other's experiences is part of my recovery process. I'm mostly using SMART recovery, along with whatever works.
I was familiar with Erica Barnett's reporting from when she was at the Stranger (in my younger years, I was a regular reader of the Stranger), and I've run into other articles that she's written over the years. The most recent time I came across Erica's reporting was when I was googling about the recent closure of a hotel in Seattle. I discovered Erica's website, The C Is For Crank, and I read her article about the closure of the Everspring Hotel. While I was on her website, I noticed that she had written a book about quitting drinking. It didn't take me long to think about buying a copy, as Erica is a competent journalist, and I figured that her book would be a good one to read. So I bought a Kindle version of her book. It was money well spent.
As others have written in their reviews, her writing style is one that takes you to where she is. You do actually feel as though you are experiencing her experience right along side her. I would say that her book is an inspiring one that is helping me to stay motivated to not drink alcohol anymore. And even if you aren't in recovery, it's a good book to read.