Writing saved Augusten Burroughs' life. Literally.
As anyone who's read Burroughs' 2002 memoir, Running with Scissors, will attest, the guy has led a challenging life informed by a deeply dysfunctional childhood that included a broken family, drugs, alcohol and a sexual relationship with a man twice his age. Hilarious and haunting in equal measure, Scissors transformed Burroughs into a literary sensation almost overnight, which came as a surprise to its author.
“I was like, 'If you could write a book that was guaranteed to repel, this would be the book,' ” the 45-year-old Burroughs says by phone from his home in Massachusetts.
“It was a complete surprise. Publishing is a ridiculous field. My success almost has nothing to do with me. It's a freak thing.”
Augusten Burroughs, along with more than 100 other authors, will speak Saturday at Books By the Banks at Duke Energy Convention Center downtown. Go here to read Jason Gargano's full interview and to get Books By the Banks details.