Model Citizen: A Memoir

Joshua Mohr. MCD, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-37421-172-1
Novelist Mohr (Termite Parade) chronicles his harrowing addiction story in this unflinching memoir. Mohr’s troubles started in childhood when, before the age of 11, his dad abandoned his family and his mother got hooked on pills and alcohol. Mohr began to drop acid before class in high school, didn’t take to college as a result of his growing dependencies, and moved to San Francisco, where he got deep into heroin, cocaine, and ketamine. Addiction-fueled chaos followed, with blackouts so deep he would come to miles from where his binge began; one time, he started in San Francisco and woke up 200 miles away at a bar deep in the mountains of Lake Tahoe, Calif., where he had to ask a stranger, “Excuse me, kind sir, can you please tell me where I might be located?” He eventually found lifelines—he went back to school, forged a career as a novelist, got married, and had a daughter who inspired him to get sober. However, he began to suffer strokes in his early 30s, caused by a previously undiagnosed heart condition, and was informed by his doctor that he isn’t likely to live past 50. Even so, Mohr notes, “I continue to be the luckiest unlucky person. Even if I only have a few years left alive.” It’s this haunting threat of a foreshortened life that sets this work apart from traditional addiction memoirs. Mohr’s raw account is equally shocking and moving. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/09/2020
Release date: 03/09/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-250-82948-1
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