Augusten Burroughs has been an advertising copywriter since the age of 19. Augusten's father is the head of the Philosophy Department at University of Massachusetts. He describes his mother as a 'mad lesbian poet of the Anne Sexton generation.' Burroughs never completed any formal education after the third grade. He's held jobs as a dog trainer and a candy-store clerk (fired for stealing) and failed as a male model. He is the author of The New York Times bestselling Running with Scissors and Sellevision. He lives in New York City.
In Dry (Picador: St. Martin's. 2006. ISBN 978-0-312-42379-7. pap. $14), Augusten Burroughs, bestselling author of Running with Scissors, heads to rehab at the suggestion of his ad agency coworkers who are tired of his embarrassing antics with clients. After a successful stint in a treatment facility, Burroughs faces several challenges to his sobriety as he begins a relationship with a crack addict and learns his best friend is dying of AIDS. With humor, he relates the day-to-day struggles of staying sober while living in turmoil. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
None of the many readers of Burroughs's mordant memoir debut, Running with Scissors, would doubt that its entertainingly twisted author could manage, by page 41 of his new installment, to check himself into America's frumpiest alcohol rehab facility for gays. Burroughs has a knack for ending up in depraved situations and a vibrant talent for writing about them. Asked to sign reams of legal forms before entering rehab, he notes, "the real Augusten would never stand for this. The real Augusten would say, `Could I get a Bloody Mary, extra Tabasco... and the check?' " Alas, Burroughs's co-workers are tired of him embarrassing clients by spraying Donna Karan for Men not only around his neck but also on his tongue to mask the tangy miasma of alcohol, and they insist he seek help. Initially repulsed by his recovery program's maudlin language and mind-numbing platitudes, Burroughs eventually makes a steadfast, equally incredulous friend in rehab, finds his own salvation and confidently re-enters society. But when he falls for a wealthy crack addict and his best friend begins to succumb to AIDS, the support he'd enjoyed in rehab begins to crumble. One of the many pleasures of Burroughs's first book was the happy revelation that despite the author's surreal, crueler-than-Dickensian upbringing, he managed to land among a tribe of fellow eccentrics. Burroughs strains here to replicate that zany tone and occasionally indulges in navel-gazing, but readers accustomed to his heady cocktail of fizzy humor and epiphanic poignancy won't be disappointed. Agent, Christopher Schelling. (June) Forecast: Burroughs is now an NPR commentator and started writing a sex column in Details last month, so his reader base may be expanding. Still, this book lacks the zing of Scissors, and casual fans might not go for it. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
If anything Dry is even more compelling than Burroughs first outing... - Time Australia Burroughs is a writer who lures you in and keeps you in his thrall - Sunday Telegraph Very funny, sad, poignant and absolutely original - Daily Telegraph Burroughs writes brilliantly with an effortless energy, wit and honesty - Sydney Morning Herald Burroughs gift is for being both comic and poignant - Adelaide Advertiser a stylish memoir about a messy life - Who Weekly