LUST & WONDER

A Memoir

Augusten Burroughs

In chronicling the development and demise of the different relationships he’s had while living in New York, Augusten Burroughs examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it all out. With Augusten’s unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous, Lust & Wonder is an intimate and honest memoir that his legions of fans have been waiting for.

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In chronicling the development and demise of the different relationships he’s had while living in New York, Augusten Burroughs examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it all out. With Augusten’s unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous, Lust & Wonder is an intimate and honest memoir that his legions of fans have been waiting for.

less …
  • St. Martin's Press
  • Paperback
  • March 2017
  • 304 Pages
  • 9780312424824

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About Augusten Burroughs

Augusten Burroughs is the number one New York Times bestselling author of This is How, A Wolf at the Table, You Better Not Cry, Possible Side Effects, Magical Thinking, Dry, Running with Scissors, and Sellevision. He lives in New York City.

Author Website

Praise

New York Times bestseller
Amazon Best Book of April 2016
Apple iBooks, Best of April
Indie Next Pick, April
Esquire Best Book of the Year, 2016

“Burroughs’ trademark sarcasm and neurosis elicit giggles from the first page. He’s a walking contradiction: self-deprecating yet condescending, at once vapid and smart, judgmental and forgiving. His complexity and acceptance of his own flaws endear him to readers…a gifted storyteller…Seeing him grow and gain the courage to make better choices is a moving experience.”Associated Press 

“For most mortals, 300-some pages is enough to contain all the tales of childhood weirdness, drinks and drugs, failed love affairs and the slow, lumbering trudge into age and wisdom. Some fantastic messes or geniuses have two. And then there’s Augusten Burroughs. Dude is a superhero, and his power is turning himself inside-out in your hands… It’s all funny and sad and tragic and relatable at the same time because that’s his magic.”NPR.org

“Burroughs’ witty, dead-on observations about everything from hapless therapists to petty impediments to love (finding fault with the tiniest lines around a boyfriend’s eyes) make every sentence an adventure. It isn’t even a spoiler to say that there’s a deliciously happy ending.”Oprah.com

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?