The Long Journey Home

First introduced to the world in her sons’ now-classic memoirs—Augusten Burroughs’s Running with Scissors and John Elder Robison’s Look Me in the Eye—Margaret Robison now tells her own haunting and lyrical story. A poet and teacher by profession, Robison describes her Southern Gothic childhood, her marriage to a handsome, brilliant man who became a split-personality alcoholic and abusive husband, the challenges she faced raising two children while having psychotic breakdowns of her own, and her struggle to regain her sanity.

Robison grew up in southern Georgia, where the façade of 1950s propriety masked all sorts of demons, including alcoholism, misogyny, repressed homosexuality, and suicide. She met her husband, John Robison, in college, and together they moved up north, where John embarked upon a successful academic career and Margaret brought up the children and worked on her art and poetry. Yet her husband’s alcoholism and her collapse into psychosis, and the eventual disintegration of their marriage, took a tremendous toll on their family: Her older son, John Elder, moved out of the house when he was a teenager, and her younger son, Chris (who later renamed himself Augusten), never completed high school. When Margaret met Dr. Rodolph Turcotte, the therapist who was treating her husband, she felt understood for the first time and quickly fell under his idiosyncratic and, eventually, harmful influence.

Robison writes movingly and honestly about her mental illness, her shortcomings as a parent, her difficult marriage, her traumatic relationship with Dr. Turcotte, and her two now-famous children, Augusten Burroughs and John Elder Robison, who have each written bestselling memoirs about their family. She also writes inspiringly about her hard-earned journey to sanity and clarity. An astonishing and enduring story, The Long Journey Home is a remarkable and ultimately uplifting account of a complicated, afflicted twentieth-century family.

From the Hardcover edition.

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