Recovering (Jamison) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for THE RECOVERY … then take off on your own:

1. Leslie Jamison opens her account of her own alcoholism by disdaining the "tedious architecture and tawdry self-congratulation of a redemption story." What does she mean, and does she remain true to her desire to avoid the traps she so dislikes? Does she achieve redemption? Is she self-congratulatory? Is her story tedious?

2. How does Jamison link addiction with creativity? Why have so many artists (of all genres) fallen prey to alcoholism? How does addiction and/or attempts at sobriety affect the creative life and output?

3. To what does Jamison attribute her own addiction to alcohol?

4. What is Jamison's experience with Alcoholics Anonymous? What does she find most valuable? How does she view the sharing of attendee "drunkalogs"?

5. Follow-up to Question 4: The author writes, "The paradox of recovery stories …was that you were supposed to relinquish your ego by authoring a story in which you also starred." What is meant by that observation? It seems contradictory: how does one go about dispensing with ego while creating a story with one's self as its center?

6. What is your own experience with alcoholism: either for yourself or someone (family or friend) with whom you are, or were, close? How much about addiction and recovery did you understand before reading this book? Has it changed how you view alcoholism?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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