Out of the Wreck I Rise by Neil Steinberg
A Literary Companion to Recovery

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Out of the Wreck I Rise: A Literary Companion to Recovery, published in early September by University of Chicago Press, is like a pub crawl around the globe and across the ages, in company with an artistic who’s who of brilliant if besotted company.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

“There’s still time to change things.”—Siri Hustvedt, The Blazing World

Addiction is easy to fall into and hard to escape. It destroys the lives of individuals, and has a devastating cost to society. The National Institute of Health estimates seventeen million adults in the United States are alcoholics or have a serious problem with alcohol. This scourge affects not only those who drink or use drugs but also their families and friends, who witness the horror of addiction. Both the afflicted and those who love them are often baffled by what is happening, never mind what to do about it. With Out of the Wreck I Rise, Neil Steinberg and Sara Bader have created a resource like no other—one that harnesses the power of literature, poetry, and creativity to illuminate what alcoholism and addiction are all about, while forging change, deepening understanding, and even saving lives.

Structured to follow the arduous steps to sobriety, the book marshals the wisdom of centuries and explores essential topics, including the importance of time, navigating family and friends, Alcoholics Anonymous, relapse, and what Raymond Carver calls “gravy,” the reward that is recovery. Each chapter begins with advice and commentary followed by a wealth of quotes to inspire and heal. The result is a mosaic of observations and encouragement that draws on writers and artists spanning thousands of years—from Seneca to David Foster Wallace, William Shakespeare to Patti Smith. The ruminations of notorious drinkers like John Cheever, Charles Bukowski, and Ernest Hemingway shed light on the difficult process of becoming sober and remind the reader that while the literary alcoholic is often romanticized, recovery is the true path of the hero.

Along with traditional routes to recovery—Alcoholics Anonymous, out-patient therapy, and intensive rehabilitation programs—this literary companion offers valuable support and inspiration to anyone seeking to fight their addiction or to a struggling loved one.
 

About Neil Steinberg

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Neil Steinberg is a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times and has written for a wide variety of publications, including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated and Forbes. He is the author of eight books, including Drunkard and You Were Never in Chicago, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press. Sara Bader is a book editor, researcher, and quote collector. She created and maintains Quotenik, an online resource of verified quotations. She is the author of Strange Red Cow and researcher for the best-selling The Atheist's Bible.
 
Published August 23, 2016 by University of Chicago Press. 256 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Toronto Star

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Reviewed by Jim Coyle on Aug 27 2016

Out of the Wreck I Rise: A Literary Companion to Recovery, published in early September by University of Chicago Press, is like a pub crawl around the globe and across the ages, in company with an artistic who’s who of brilliant if besotted company.

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