Writer Spawn Susan Cheever's Issues Have Issues

Illustration for article titled Writer Spawn Susan Cheever's Issues Have Issues

The children of writers surpass only the children of shrinks in terms of hours logged in therapy, and memoirist Susan Cheever, the daughter of acclaimed writer John, is no exception. She has written a new memoir called Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction about her struggles as a sex addict, and the New York Times went to her east side apartment to interview Cheever and her horny dog, Cutie. Writer Joyce Wadler points out that this is not Cheever's first foray into the addiction memoir, as she "covered much of the same material in her 1999 book Note Found in a Bottle: My Life as a Drinker." In Note (which I read many moons ago), Wadler remarks that Cheever wrote about fucking several different men in Cuba while her daughter was ill. Cheever rehashes the anecdote for Desire and Wadler comments that she "seems to have gone from blaming alcohol for her problems with men to blaming sexual addiction for them."Of course, cross-addictions — ie, swapping one addiction for another — are pretty common among abusers of all stripes, but it sort of seems like Susan Cheever is just grasping at autobiographical straws here, desperate for more material. She's already written about her fucked up relationship with her dad in 1984's Home Before Dark, and as we noted she mined her drinking problem for Note Found in a Bottle. And Cheever's not the only one to ever double-dip with serious psychological issues (see Burroughs, Augusten, who wrote about his drinking problem, his fucked up childhood, and his abusive dad in three separate memoirs, and Wurtzel, Elizabeth, who wrote about her mental problems and her drug problems in two different tomes). But when you're retelling the same anecdotes from one memoir to another, maybe it's time to try a different, less-self-involved genre? Biography? Maybe a nice comic book? Chicken soup for the sex addicted soul? A Writer Alone at Last [NYT]



Augusten Burroughs is full of shit. I do not like his books.

Susan, why don't you just dive into fiction? You're half way there!