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     Program 06-21 Guest Augusten Burroughs Book Possible Side Effects; The Fine
    Print with Rebecca Bain May 27 & 28, 2006
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from nashville public radio this is the fine print and exploration and celebration of the written word i'm rebecca bain if you've ever read one of the custom for rosa brooks well he'll never forget is the bestselling author of running with scissors dry and magical thinking has written about his life from childhood to the present and it's an incredible story he had one of the worst childhood imaginable yet he relates these horrors in such a way that you find yourself laughing augustus latest book is possible side effects is a collection of essays that has all the trademarks of his earlier books the pieces are often thoughtful and sometimes scathing and more likely than not funny although not all are sometimes these topics would be diminished by him or instead they pick you to the heart i am delighted to say a dustin brown says my guest on today's program i hope you can join us too first question are you
really a graduate of the bar is high school of modeling and i think so but i actually i actually am although you know i don't think i am i think at the very end i owed them fifty fifty lice dollars one last final payments whatever got my diploma but a well but she learned how to make expressions in the mirror you know no job lined yellow learned how to be self conscious in the rest of my life in out that actually was a little sad but again that's why i love your writing so much as you can be so funny about such sad sad things that's really desolate coping mechanism i think from my my my childhood was sad just for long as i can remember and i've always was am looking for what was funny or absurd in the situation around me in and then it went from source sad childhood and scary to just absolutely beyond bizarre my running with scissors
years and that's when i think my arm full of internal optimism kicked in and was really important it definitely helped that i had my journals you know that i could write a home where i was thinking and an end you know that was my friend basically were mine my journal soccer always always tell the delano book what was going on and umm mohammed mother to thank a thing for that show was encouraged me to arm to right she used to say actually talk about this a little bit in the new book she'd she used to tell me that no matter what happens to you writing will save your life always always right well she was always writing herself yes she was always writing i mean i you know the soundtrack from my early life is just a clack of an audience electric typewriter you know from from morning until the you know the wee hours again of the morning you know i think that i i found that comforting you know but it was that sort of a mother's comfort from a distance and sound of her typing in the next room or you know later in addition to for room downstairs
it was armed that was you know he sort of in lou really love her actual physical presence and hurt her in a verbal emotional support him she was driven my mother was driven to write and she she also more than that i think wanted recognition and wanted you know certain degree probably of fame and she was raised in this afternoon the yankee in the family georgia is my brother was born in athens and my mother used to talk about her southern childhood and how oppressed she was and how oppressive the south is but then i would go down south in the summers i would just have the best all time with my grandmother carolyn and i loved the south leavitt my eye i felt it was the opposite you know for the way she described it you know where were was stifling in and sort of backwards and i just i fit in perfectly well we do love art centric stand here
well that's the thing the south is a very eccentric a mini me anyplace that you know boil peanut butter on as well of about it did adore your grandmother carolyn but you also had the horrible grandmother alma visit a sacred idea that's right that's exactly right arm or my maternal grandmother one of your essays and possible side effects you she's horrible she is absolutely horrible and you close that particular essay this is after her death by saying that i realized i was said but only because i wasn't more sand that's not really it that's exactly what i felt like after she died you know it was when i was very young and talking and you know five and six you know i love tom i love the way she looked and i loved to smell and i loved you know her presence when she would drive up from the south and come visit us in the north but
you know when i was a little older eight nine ten that's grandmother i remembered from my early childhood was gone and it was replaced with this woman who seemed to me too to dislike me you know if not children in general me any my cousins you know they're both girls are they you know that old i don't think they would they wouldn't recognize her from that essay you know when they read that i say they will not recognize their grandmothers something that they had a very different relationship but i'm always just was really terrible to me and it's interesting because my mother this is my mother's mother you know my mother always had a very difficult relationship with her mother i mean there's tourism cannot not acknowledge a year went by that that those two were not struggling constantly you know my mother complaining about her mother and fighting whether you know on in arguing with her through letters and through the through exchange audio cassette sometimes instead of letters
and when i went down to visit her it was just absolute coldness blended with i got the sense that she sought she enjoyed she enjoyed punishing there was in there was a side door she enjoyed to punish me and she and she enjoyed denying me any any little thing you know any little thing and it was a church of extreme contrast to my mom my grandmother on my father's side of the family carolyn because carolyn was just she was exuberant and she was a little bit naughty you know she used to sort of lift money out of my grandfather jacks wall it generally announced we were all scared to death and she would you say always know won't hurt him and she just were dumb she was fun and playful and she drove her to go paddle like a five mph everywhere just complete disregard for the law and i mean always visit carolyn first you know and then
visit on and on and and so i would go from this fund exuberant very eccentric woman to to spending time with this you know sober isn't even the right word just drums weren't deathly deathly pale angry woman you know who she's almost armed hamas where you would close to the cliche victorian an angry victorian london dealer that's a greater now that was covered in yet she you know something something happened i mean i don't know her full story but something something in her life happened it made her extremely angry now here she's she definitely knew she had her third daughter she had two daughters my mother's sister died in your mom when she was very young and so she had this sound this little girl that was born with a cord wrapped around the neck in that little girl required she's mentally retarded and she required on you know around the clock as assistance until the day she died so she's she certainly had a lot of
challenges in life but of course you know that that had been many years passed by the time i came along and for a reason you should just very very very angry and withholding and you know my mother loses the woman who raised my mother and it's interesting to me that you know my brother and i we were both estranged from from our mother and then my mother also you know had that very difficult relationship with her own mother so in some ways my mother replicated i'm not necessarily the same behavior with the end results were very similar you know you write you've encapsulated in one of these stories what you just said about your mother and your relationship with your mother when you were young and that story is about the dog kitty kitty it is exactly the relationship with your mother you gave it up today spca because you couldn't care for her and that's exactly what your mother did weekend and you know i know i never i didn't realize until i got home until i i was done with the
act if it meaning it should have been so utterly obvious to me you know drop a process of you know in the cab on the way to the espn's should have thought you know what are you doing and look at look at this pattern doesn't something here seem familiar to you but it didn't he didn't hit me until i'm when i got home and i think probably one of the reasons is because the intake person at the spca recognized me as an alcoholic you know god called me on it but not in a i'm not a scolding shameful way but in a way that said our icu you know i see you and i know i know i know you are i'm want to know and so i when i came home from that it was it really was a profound experience to realize that i am not really capable of the dam actively replicating the experience that i had as a child and doing it again it made me you know think about war fight what if i'd become apparent what if i had a child you know what i'd be doing the exact same thing you know unwittingly two to the child that that happened to
me and it's funny i mean i had i met you i live in iceland in many many years in new york city and we still maintain a place in the city but for all intents and purposes we live in massachusetts and the reason i moved to massachusetts was because i wanted to be next or literally to my brother and my heart at that time just about thirteen year old nephew he's fifteen now by year we've taken a real strong strong leadership role in his life i mean i was watching him and an observing that his grades were were really really bad ending he's a brilliant brilliant kid but his grades we're whether we're decently were seized and so i had to find out more why why is that you know and what you don't sort of don't but don't be like me you know don't do what i did i did a really really difficult way you know against the aunts and in the back door and i mean the likelihood of that i would be successful it so so so
swim you know and you know i'm trying to get him to focus on school and embrace it and use that as his mom or in us or the state of if you want to escape you know use school as you have to as you're placing to challenge yourself and don't not rebel against it in the way it was up on the lectures my conversation with the dust in forest whose latest collection of essays is titled possible side effects will continue after this brief time and i hope you can continue to check out the fine print oh
geez something a little lighter here i hadn't had to bring this out because i love it and you give your pets such interesting names and in the course of that play the french bulldog has won but the other french bulldog is the cow and then we already mentioned the dog kitty kitty my brother had a cat named small animal this isn't easing and is now his dog years is peculiar poodle named dog go now don lago so he's always enjoys eccentric and you know the cow's name the cabin looks just like a little wheeze this little french bulldog in french bulldogs are very much like the english bulldog everybody is familiar with except they sort of shrunken the dryer you know the littler and the cow is black and white notes but he looks exactly like a holstein
cow even winners especially when his little ears stick out strayed out from his head you know he's tired and doesn't have the energy to make him go straight up they go you know horizontal out from his head need my little holstein cow and on the story about him you know that's probably one of my favorite stories in the book because we had been really weary had that mean we just treasured treasured and tennis and my partner i'd never had a dog so he didn't know how close relationship you can have with a dog you know but i i did i remember from childhood now having a dog did not work for me as an adult because i'd been drunk you know so but now you know i was domesticated doesn't relationship things are you know house healthy so we had been liane and it was just i mean it was wonderful and we decided to to get carol so i'm a nerd and a pet store warehouse post by dog can use adorable and we took him you know weed weed weed weed weed took an alarm and that's when that the nightmare began in the normal thing was just i
mean you just doing everything a puppy isn't supposed to do and you know peeing in the places he's not supposed to and you know eat and he would not stop is barking i was original desperate online looking at you know everything i could to just sort of stopped him and i had this just as real sense of like deep regret this almost you know post partum depression including vietnam after i had a macau and i thought yeah and this was this was the worst impulse purchase of my life this was a mistake and it's a mistake we're going to have to live with for a long long time you know a seventeen year mistake and i look back on that you know that that way of feeling and i mean now i would literally lose a dill pickle lamb chop off to save the cow any cows just actually precious to me and sent some sense looks been published in and people storage we have already heard from actually to endure or other journalists have told me that they felt the same way with them with a puppy that they had the date did you go home and come they they
didn't love it right away and they felt like they'd made a mistake but they they hadn't really heard somebody else talk about that which you know is true you don't you don't really ever no un warns you that when you get a new puppy honda might be a period where your morning you're really your mornings or a figure for him and for your sleep and it in some ways it is like having a newborn baby where you know you may not automatically feel all the love that you expect to feel or that you calm believe you're gonna feel you may feel a sense of regret we may feel overwhelmed and you may feel like it's a mistake to know and then you have to wait it out we have to move through that and becomes just just amazing do you mind well actually can you give the g rated version of the drug the deadly you know johnny depp who was a friend that i made when i was working at a restaurant in north hampton massachusetts i had just left it just departed my running with
scissors wife and i was on my own and get it i became instant friends you know the reason she was named she initially done drugs in high school and smoke pot and you know which is actually very very smart she's very very intelligent and i hear about all kinds of things which it it's just a y but ranging intelligence you mean she could feel she was good with electronic equipment you know and cars but she could also discuss you know einstein's theory of relative and she understood it and she she is very well read issues very funny and she was we got we have this job where we awoke waiters and came in and i was a terrible waiter and she just was a terrible waiter in a different way you know she was she wouldn't put up with with thinks it has an incident something happens you know these the drunk college students commands and demanding service and attention and she does something that's that's just to sort of shocking to do to speak about some shia something unspeakable and she leaves the job and she gets a new job so we used it take
these drives along highway or the back roads and now i'm kenny with she just had a pet peeve you know she couldn't stand a bad driver no one heard her new job was more suited to her personality instead of being a waiter waitress you're short of that on the copy shops and she had access to color copiers and marchers and so we used to have on we still have a naughty magazines comments you take pictures from very very sort of graphical naughty magazine's jude isolate that the photograph or a particular portion of the photograph blowup begin huge and then we would we would drive down the highway and she would say look see that killed their tailgate or and she'd speed up past the tailgate or i would then reach into the backseat and grab one of the shots now see the person tailgating you know someone else will we see this incredibly crude shocking image but then underneath that we had
written things like don't pass on the right way to speed limits in you know just all stop across wanting all these phrases of course you know i would grab one at random so phrase never matched so a tailgate or would get some you know don't cross or whatever don't you stop across don't go through yellow lights and i mean it was just the faces we would we would see back it was really it was you shocking that it was on very funny and you know the kind of thing you only do when you're seventeen years old and the new menu he may never do again but it wasn't you know i was just sort of terrible misbehavior on you write about some of the most interesting and wonderful people in here and also some very very sad ones i'm thinking about saturday's susan for example but doesn't your hero was dr ledford yes i and very very and i have to stay of reasons as a child had very dry hands
mccracken they've bledsoe boys have band aids on in when i was a little boy i would have to go to the dermatologist i had to go to the doctor to have these hands looked at just to see you know what will be done about them and my doctor and i was terrified terrified of this person because she's disfigured face his burned skin didn't look like sketching look human to me she and look human but she and she was very good with children she she could read me and she sat me down and said you know just my face on my face to carry you and then she explained what happened to her you know she was an accident she was burned and you know she wants to help people who are you know byrne didn't have bad skin and it was just i mean i still think about or tuesday because she she was so she's she spoke to me just like a like a person you know like a person and it
would later later see other doctors are always stop by and visit her until we stop by and say hi to her but she you know that was and my first i think that was my first experience with confronting somebody who looked different you know this person looked very different mean someone who has had their skin burned into the skin doesn't doesn't look like skin anymore minutes garden features our are deformed and it's good can be scary you know when you're a kid to see somebody like that and you can de humanized you know you can to humanize them and boy though she'd she brought right back and she is she and she just you know runs it herself and and let all her humanity come out and i was able to see her completely as a person and in a strange way are they would identify with her you know because of my own so scarred hand i was able to in a way to identify with or so i really you know i'll issues she still reigns to this day my favorite dr watson five other great cardiologist know she was my favorite
doctor for years i've noticed in your writing you could be talking about one particular thing or another and in this case say mrs ledford but you have these assignments that to me always grammy to having you know like for example in that particular story you comment on how people will come up to you and say what have you done to those hands and i thought people do that and don't really understand how rude their fifties to come i have to comment on all sorts of things i mean it just makes me great when people do that and so you do every all the stores have these wonderful little comments on the way people work you know i've always i've always felt a little bit on the outside you know looking and so we studied people studied state studied i'm i've always been fascinated me nothing nothing you know matters more than people to me nothing matters more and get some that's why i write e mails to connect with people and to home to two form that that beyond the cue you
form when you are a writer and an author you know every year that we're an offer you create that bond on its it's just like tell a can use this in a way if you think about you know a writer living you know wherever in in maine can cause the muscles of a reader in california to contract into a smile or a laugh you know you can you can cause the tear ducts you know top rate from three four thousand miles away i mean it's fascinating to me that the relationship between the reader and an author and i never was aware of it i was twenty four i was twenty four when i started reading it and read until i was twenty four and once i started reading i i could not stop i mean that that was that was what was missing from my life and how i dread rambling about the it's an honest it's very interesting melissa how about this question then because i am one of those readers and i
read someone's book like yours read your books and dumb i feel like i know you and other people i know have exactly the same experience what we quote no customers because we have read the things you've written as a kind of the odd thing because we've obviously don't know you we just know what you've written no you really probably do know me to a large extent i mean i i don't let myself a lot i really don't at myself a lot you know the editing i do is is i'm technical and practical you know i mean i will fact changed names are changed names laughter you know combine a couple people for the reason i'll do that if it makes the story read quicker but i don't hold back i'd i don't i don't edit myself i'm innocent as does nothing i never think about you know will this offend somebody and likewise i never think will this please somebody so i'm i'm really you know very very much myself i most i think are most myself i'm
most comfortable on on on when i'm riding on the page because i'm not i'm not afraid of love you are being judged or saying the wrong thing i'm much less self conscious ironically maybe when i'm writing than i am in real life and i'm you know more poll hikers and to help you more aware i think of of half of what to say what what not to say um but people because they they do we think if they know if they read me and you know i think they know me are aware that i don't know them so many people you know at the supermarket or on the street when they recognize me come up to me and they are aware that they know me and they know everything about me and i don't know anything about them and they're aware of that imbalance survey work to correct it you know they break the ice they immediately break the ice and that's what's really never uncomfortable you know i mean i get asked by people is it
terrifying to write about yourself in an open yourself up for you know literally millions of people to know everything every tiny personal detail about yourself and it's counter intuitive but the answer is no it's not and the reason it's not threatening is because of other people i mean i was touring this country promoting a book ours pretty magical thinking during the last election when the nation was absolutely divided you know and i was you know harping back and forth between the blue states in the red states and you know one thing with race very clear to me is that we have a lot more common than we have i'm you know not not uncommon we have cut that we people the person who lived next door to you who seems to have it all together you know they've got something in their past that that disturbs aware that they're ashamed of or that disappointed and they've had losses and they've had yearnings you know and they've had the exact same feelings you had no it's true that i've had some very very unusual experiences and it had some very extreme
experiences but i think people can relate to emotions certainly a feeling isolated feeling you know not good enough feeling in my good enough for this job you know am i in over my head i mean you're all things that everyone everyone everyone struggles with content and searching for love you know to write love the kind of you know best friend love these are all things that you know and that sound that's one thing that i found you know being able to meet some new people and to see so much of the world and you know so much of my country is to see how much we really do have a car customers bestselling author of running with scissors dry and magical thinking his latest book is titled possible side effects and that concludes our program for this week and i hope you enjoyed it and i hope you'll join me next week as well when together we'll check out the fine print for national public radio i'm rebecca bain
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Series
The Fine Print
Episode
Program 06-21 Guest Augusten Burroughs Book Possible Side Effects; The Fine Print with Rebecca Bain May 27 & 28, 2006
Producing Organization
WPLN
Contributing Organization
WPLN News/Nashville Public Radio (Nashville, Tennessee)
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cpb-aacip-3aa3f68ab55
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Description
Episode Description
An episode of WPLN's The Fine Print, featuring guest Augusten Burroughs speaking on the subject of his book, "Possible Side Effects".
Created Date
2006
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Program
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00:29:12.842
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Host: Bain, Rebecca
Producing Organization: WPLN
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WPLN
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Chicago: “The Fine Print; Program 06-21 Guest Augusten Burroughs Book Possible Side Effects; The Fine Print with Rebecca Bain May 27 & 28, 2006 ,” 2006, WPLN News/Nashville Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-3aa3f68ab55.
MLA: “The Fine Print; Program 06-21 Guest Augusten Burroughs Book Possible Side Effects; The Fine Print with Rebecca Bain May 27 & 28, 2006 .” 2006. WPLN News/Nashville Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 23, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-3aa3f68ab55>.
APA: The Fine Print; Program 06-21 Guest Augusten Burroughs Book Possible Side Effects; The Fine Print with Rebecca Bain May 27 & 28, 2006 . Boston, MA: WPLN News/Nashville Public Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-3aa3f68ab55