Gone to the Crazies
By Alison Weaver
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061189586, 256pp.)
Publication Date: July 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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As a child, Alison Weaver's life shone with surface-level perfection--full of nannies, private schools, and ballet lessons. She had all the luxuries of a wealthy Manhattan upbringing, and all the makings of a perfect Upper East Side miss. But her childhood memories were laced with darker undertones: Her father was emotionally absent, unable to engage in problems that couldn't be solved with clean lines and simple plans, and her mother was a beautiful, aloof alcoholic. Neither parent approved of their daughter's outbursts and emotions--and in the midst of her parents' own flaws, Weaver was constantly reminded that she was a mess that needed fixing.
By the time she was a teenager, Weaver had found escape in alcohol, marijuana, and late-night abandon. But when her exasperated parents had her shipped away--in handcuffs--to the cultish Cascade School, everything changed. Within the surreal isolation of the school's mountain campus, she left her old self behind, warping into a brainwashed model of Cascade's mottos and ideals. Graduation two years later left her unprepared for the harshness of the real world--and she soon fell back into a mind-numbing wash of drugs. Stum-bling into freefall in New York's East Village in the 1990s, Weaver's life began a downward spiral marked by needles and late-night parties, mingled with fears of HIV and death. Ultimately, faced with the reality of her rapidly escalating self-destruction, Weaver was forced to face her inner darkness head on.
Gone to the Crazies proves the age-old adage: You can't come clean until you've hit rock bottom. By turns wry, heartbreaking, and emotionally intense, Alison Weaver's mesmerizing debut fascinates with its vivid depiction of the bonds between family and friends, and the thoughtful exploration of what it means to fight for identity and equilibrium.
"[An] amazingly sane and graceful book . . . Weaver is a sure-handed storyteller and a clear-eyed observer."
-David Gates, author of Jernigan, Preston Falls, and The Wonders of the Invisible World
"A wise and eloquent book...in Weaver's expert hands the drug addiction and rehabilitation memoir has finally come of age."
-Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook and Absurdistan
"Gone to the Crazies is a stark and powerful debut."
-Honor Moore, author of The White Blackbird
"A talented young writer with a fertile ground from which to make sense of her complex story."
-Natasha Radojcic, author of Homecoming and You Don't Have to Live Here