Book Review – Nonfiction: A Novel by Julie Myerson
In 2009, novelist Julie Myerson found herself at the center of a media storm after she published a non-fiction account of her eldest son’s addiction to marijuana, Hephzibah Anderson told The Observer. The episode, she said, drove her into a “kind of depression,” and she never directly addressed it in her writings. Except now, in a way, she did. This, his 11th novel – titled nonfiction — is all about “teen drug addiction.” The narrator is a once “happily married” writer, who reflects on her attempts to save her heroin-addicted daughter “from self-destruction”. Given his own history, Myerson is risking a lot with such a novel — but “the results are nothing short of incandescent.”
The title is confusing, and on purpose, said Alex Peake-Tomkinson in The Spectator. It is “Myerson’s most square attempt at autobiographical fiction to date”. Yet in other respects it seems a typical work: she always explored “her worst fears in her novels”. Although I hope she “looks beyond her own life” in the future, I found this read “satisfactorily propelling.”
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