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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  1307 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: August 24th: What are you reading this week?

    Burroughs was born Christopher Richter Robison in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the younger of two sons to poet Margaret Robison and John G. Robison, former head of the philosophy department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the younger brother of fellow memoirist John Elder Robison. He was raised in Massachusetts, including the towns of Shutesbury, Amherst, and Northampton. His parents divorced on July 29, 1978, when Burroughs was twelve years old, and he was adopted by his mother's psychiatrist who resided in the Northampton area.

    Burroughs dropped out of school after the sixth grade and obtained a GED at age 17. He chose his name at age 18, and legally changed it in Boston.[1] He later enrolled at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Massachusetts, as a pre-med student, dropping out before the end of the first semester. He decided to settle in New York City and worked for a Manhattan-based advertising company. In 1996, he sought treatment for alcoholism at a rehabilitation center in Minnesota before returning to Manhattan.

    His books are published by St. Martin's Press and Picador. Some of his childhood experiences were chronicled in Running with Scissors (2002), which was later made into a film.

further information about whether it's a memoir vs autobiography:

kleinbl00  ·  1307 days ago  ·  link  ·

It's a hurtful fucking book, utterly devoid of love or compassion for anyone but Augusten Burroughs. You don't see that kind of hatred in Mommy Dearest.

user-inactivated  ·  1307 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is a tricky issue, and I don't want to get into an argument with you. I'll just say bad things were done on both sides.

On a slightly different note, more related to my original comment: the stuff he describes in his book matches with scary precision stuff I experienced as a kid. And it worries me that if I were ever to write a memoir about the psychologically unstable people who tortured and abused me, that I'd be publicly excoriated for doing so.

kleinbl00  ·  1307 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Then write something else.

We all got baggage. If you define yourself by the hurt you've felt then you open yourself to be redefined by those you accuse. "Bad things were done by both sides" isn't an argument that holds a lot of water when the memoirist is forced to recant. If the truth isn't interesting enough don't lie and pretend it's real.

I'll say this - if you aspire to be Augusten Burroughs there's zero point in us conversing further.

Edited to add: if you want to read a black bunch of biography from someone who doesn't say "it's all true!" about made-up shit so that he can feel better about himself, Jerry Stahl is your guy.

user-inactivated  ·  1307 days ago  ·  link  ·  

(dazed) Um... ok then. Have a good day.