The Long Journey Home by Margaret Robison
A Memoir

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First introduced to the world in her sons’ now-classic memoirs—Augusten Burroughs’s Running with Scissors and John Elder Robison’s Look Me in the Eye—Margaret Robison now tells her own haunting and lyrical story. A poet and teacher by profession, Robison describes her Southern Gothic childhood, her marriage to a handsome, brilliant man who became a split-personality alcoholic and abusive husband, the challenges she faced raising two children while having psychotic breakdowns of her own, and her struggle to regain her sanity.

Robison grew up in southern Georgia, where the façade of 1950s propriety masked all sorts of demons, including alcoholism, misogyny, repressed homosexuality, and suicide. She met her husband, John Robison, in college, and together they moved up north, where John embarked upon a successful academic career and Margaret brought up the children and worked on her art and poetry. Yet her husband’s alcoholism and her collapse into psychosis, and the eventual disintegration of their marriage, took a tremendous toll on their family: Her older son, John Elder, moved out of the house when he was a teenager, and her younger son, Chris (who later renamed himself Augusten), never completed high school. When Margaret met Dr. Rodolph Turcotte, the therapist who was treating her husband, she felt understood for the first time and quickly fell under his idiosyncratic and, eventually, harmful influence.

Robison writes movingly and honestly about her mental illness, her shortcomings as a parent, her difficult marriage, her traumatic relationship with Dr. Turcotte, and her two now-famous children, Augusten Burroughs and John Elder Robison, who have each written bestselling memoirs about their family. She also writes inspiringly about her hard-earned journey to sanity and clarity. An astonishing and enduring story, The Long Journey Home is a remarkable and ultimately uplifting account of a complicated, afflicted twentieth-century family.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Margaret Robison

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Margaret Robison is an artist and the author of four books of poetry. She lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.
Published May 17, 2011 by Spiegel & Grau. 402 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Poet and essayist Robison’s (What Matters, 2001, etc.) autobiography of madness and redemption—completing a trilogy of dysfunction of sorts, joining the memoirs of her sons, Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors, 2002) and John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye, 2007).

Apr 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Journey Home: A Memoir

Publishers Weekly

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The mother of Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors) and John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye) recounts her own troubled life in this unremarkable tell-all.

Mar 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Journey Home: A Memoir

City Book Review

The characters are interesting, and as much as the reader won’t like Robison at times, there’s a kind of heartfelt emotion that comes through.||Both of Robison’s sons have written memoirs about their lives (Augusten Burroughs with Running with Scissors and John Elder Robison in Look Me in the Eye...

Nov 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Journey Home: A Memoir


At 21, when Robison confessed to being frightened of her future husband, Louisa suggested that she “just tell him.” Instead, Robison married him, convinced that’s what her mother truly wanted.

Jul 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Journey Home: A Memoir

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