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Lust & Wonder: A Memoir
by Augusten Burroughs

Published: 2017-03-28
Paperback : 304 pages
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From the beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an intimate look at the driving forces in one man’s life.

With Augusten's unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous, Lust & Wonder is a hilariously frank memoir ...

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Introduction

From the beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an intimate look at the driving forces in one man’s life.

With Augusten's unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous, Lust & Wonder is a hilariously frank memoir that his legions of fans have been waiting for. His story began in Running with Scissors, endured through Dry, and continues with this memoir, the capstone to the life of Augusten Burroughs.

Funny, sweet, alarming, and ultimately, moving and tender, Lust & Wonder is an experience of a book that will resonate with anyone who has loved and lost and loved again.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of April 2016: Augusten Burroughs’s latest autobiographical offering is a tale many of us can relate to: In our search for true love, we have kissed a few (perhaps dozen) frogs, and dated utterly inappropriate people because they were simply too cute to resist, or really good in…social situations. While it can be painful to ruminate on our own struggles in this regard, reading about Burroughs’s relationship failures (and successes!) is anything but. Lust & Wonder delivers on what you’d expect from the lauded author of Running with Scissors--the kind of wit, profundity, and keen appreciation of the absurd that tempers what could otherwise be cynical subject matter. The lines between lust and love can be blurry, but your ardor for this memoir will not be ambiguous. --Erin Kodicek

Excerpt

I



Just when I broke my sobriety and started drinking again in moderate and controlled measure exactly like a normal person, I met this guy who wasn’t just a guy but a writer, and not just a writer but the author of one of my favorite books. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

In which ways throughout the book do you feel Augusten has self-sabotaged a relationship? Have you experienced this in your own life and what do you think are the internal reasons for this in Augusten's case and in your life?

What are your favorite revelations, passages, and/or scenes in Lust & Wonder? What are your feelings about the developing relationship with Christopher, mixing
professional and personal aspects? Have you experienced this in your own life?

Some have referenced Lust & Wonder as the answer to their questions about Augusten’s life in the years since his last memoir, Dry. After reading it, do you feel the same?

Upon revisiting Running with Scissors and Dry, what are the major ways in which Augusten's life perspectives have changed in Lust & Wonder? And in what ways has he remained the same?

On page 106, Augusten tells himself: "Stop being so damn you." Think about other instances in the book in which Augusten's inner negative voice takes over. How do you handle the negative voices in your head?

In Lust & Wonder, Augusten travels from San Francisco to New York to Massachusetts and more, fashioning a home for himself in each place. How does each location change him? Where do you feel most at home, and how do you make yourself at home when locations change?

Discuss how Augusten, against all odds, found people who believed in his raw talent, from his first copywriting job to his debut novel,Sellevision. Talk about a moment in your life when you fought the odds and won.

Augusten details his long history with therapy, whether individually or as part of a couple. Do you think autobiographical writing can act as a form of therapy? If so, how?

As a writing exercise, try to pick a relationship from your life to write about in Augusten's candid, uncensored style. Without this filter, what comes up in your writing? How does it change your perspective on the moment you chose to write about? If you're comfortable, share it with the group and get their reactions!

How does 20/20 hindsight change your retelling of your experiences? How do you think this memoir would be different if Augusten were writing at an earlier stage in life, say, 10 years ago?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

“All of the wisdom he dispenses in his new book-delivered with the dark, acidic humor we've come to expect-is certainly well-earned.” ?The Boston Globe on This is How

“Dry is more than a heartbreaking tale; it's a heroic one. As with its predecessor, we finish the book amazed not only that Burroughs can write so brilliantly, but that he's even alive.” ?People on Dry

“It makes a good run at blowing every other [memoir] out of the water.” ?Carolyn See, The Washington Post on Running with Scissors

“Funny and rich with child's eye details of adults who have gone off the rails.” ?The New York Times Book Review on Running with Scissors

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