Monday, November 9, 2009

Stephen Elliott to Read on November 20

Writer Paula Whyman sends along this message:

“After reading an advance copy of Stephen Elliott’s new memoir, The Adderall Diaries, I offered to organize a local reading/discussion for the author. It’s a raw and edgy book, a combination true crime story and memoir about Elliott’s troubled relationship with his father. The author’s touring around the country, primarily on his own dime, to promote the book. It’s received praise from numerous quarters, including Kirkus, Vanity Fair, and Time Out. Many of you may be more familiar with his novel, Happy Baby, which also received wide acclaim, and was selected as a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lion award.”

Here are the details of the reading. I’ll be there for sure; Happy Baby is one of my favorite books of linked stories…and Teaism makes great oatmeal cookies!

Stephen Elliott: Featuring a talk by the author and readings from his highly praised new memoir THE ADDERALL DIARIES: a Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder.

Friday, November 20, 2009
Program: 7:00-9:00 p.m., (please arrive at 6:30 p.m. to place food and beverage orders)

TEAISM Penn Quarter
400 Eighth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 638-6010
RSVP to: or
Co-sponsored by American Independent Writers (AIW)

In the spring of 2007, a brilliant and well-known computer programmer named Hans Reiser stands accused of murdering his beautiful, estranged wife, Nina. Despite a mountain of circumstantial evidence against him, he proclaims his innocence, and the body is yet to be found. The case takes an unusual twist when Nina’s former lover, and Hans’ former best friend, Sean Sturgeon, confesses to eight unrelated murders that no one has ever heard of.

When a reporter contacts Stephen Elliott about Sturgeon—whose path he has crossed in San Francisco’s underground S&M scene—Elliott is paralyzed by writer’s block, in the thrall of Adderall dependency, and despondent over his inability to maintain a stable romantic relationship. The reporter’s questions spur Elliott to rethink Sturgeon, and to wonder exactly what kind of person confesses to murders he likely did not commit? Perhaps a man like Elliott’s own father.

So begins a brave and riveting journey through a neon landscape of false confessions, self-medication, and torturous sex. Set against the backdrop of a nation at war, in the declining years of the Silicon Valley tech boom and the dawn of Paris Hilton’s celebrity, The Adderall Diaries is at once a gripping account of a murder trial and a scorching investigation of self. Tough, tender, and unflinchingly honest, it is a breakout book by one of the most daring writers of his generation.

“Elliot may be writing under the influence, but it’s the influence of genius,” Vanity Fair

“A refined, beautiful work of art,” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Harrowing, riveting,” Amy Tan

Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books including The Adderall Diaries (September 2009) and Happy Baby, a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lion Award as well as a best book of 2004 in, Newsday, Chicago New City, the Journal News, and the Village Voice. In addition to writing fiction he frequently writes on politics. In 2004 he wrote Looking Forward To It, about the quest for the Democratic Presidential nomination. He is the editor of The Rumpus.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

There is no charge for this event, but you are responsible for your food and beverage purchases.
RSVP to: or


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.