The grass is always greener. People always want what they don’t have, right?
In Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man (Little, Brown, 2010), literary agent Bill Clegg seems to have it all: a rise so quickly through the New York literary world that by the age of 30 he opens his own agency. Oh, and he also has a devoted partner and a fabulous flat on Fifth Avenue.
And then it all goes up in smoke.
Unbeknownst to his clients and family, Bill Clegg was a crack addict.
He chronicles his addiction in his brilliant memoir and traces his insecurities as an adult back to his neglected childhood. Unlike many memoirists, Clegg doesn’t hold back. He also doesn’t feel sorry for himself and writes so vividly that I felt like I was a first-hand observer. I read this book over two quick days last week and found myself wanting nothing more than to give him a hug.