Nice Girls Don't Drink: Stories of Recovery

Sarah Hafner, Author
Sarah Hafner, Author J F Bergin & Garvey $36.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-89789-246-9
Paperback - 264 pages - 978-0-89789-247-6
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Hafner, a recovering alcoholic herself, compiled these interviews with 20 recovering women alcoholics because she felt that they could serve as examples and their voices needed to be heard. Society, she argues, looks more critically at women drinkers than at men, and women are more afraid of being caught and seeking help. The stories her subjects tell, harrowing yet hopeful, partially confirm her theory that it's different for women. Many women alcoholics, like men, have abusive and alcoholic parents, but other factors, like addictions to food and Valium, seem more common among women drinkers. Most interviewees swear by Alcoholics Anonymous, though several note problems: an ex-prostitute met her old tricks at an AA meeting; an Army wife says it's hard to ``talk about hormone problems, or living with a male alcoholic.'' Of several voices for a women-oriented recovery approach, the strongest is that of Jean Kirkpatrick, founder of the 30,000-member Women for Sobriety, which aims to give women some empowerment. In AA, she notes, ``the basis is humility,'' which women already have in sufficient quantity. (Apr.)
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