Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Susan Shapiro Lights Up


Sue on the Today Show (image via MSNBC)

We have a new advertiser in Susan Shapiro's Lighting Up: How I Stopped Smoking, Drinking, and Everything Else I Loved in Life Except Sex A Memoir. If you are a writer in New York, chances are you have probably run into my good friend Sue Shapiro at a party, or taken one of her classes at NYU or the New School. She rocketh so mightily, that Sue. Granted, Sue is now an advertiser, but, having made that disclaimer: I cannot recommend this book enough. Lighting Up is wise, witty, laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreakingly honest, all at once.

Susan begins the book by attending addiction therapy with one "Dr. Winters," whom she met through her television writer husband, Aaron. Winters provocatively tells Sue that if she listens to him, follows his advice, she will not only quit those cursed cancer sticks, but, she will also score a book deal (she did) in the process. Now, here's where the stale mechanisms of Freud get infused with some real magic. How does a cigarette addiction tie in to Why Sue hasn't been published yet? Intrigued by the proposition, Sue says yes. She trusts Dr. Winters even though she doesn't understand how the fuck his expensive session will land her a book deal. After all, this was this same therapist who got her husband to finally commit to marriage with one sentence after she had been trying for some time.

From cigarettes, Sue goes on to discard booze. During the course of her shedding-of-the-vices, we learn about the wounded past of this mysterious "Winters" (The Corsair shed a tear, it is not unmanly to cry over a good book), romp with Sue through Manhattan, visit her family in Michigan and watch as her life changes as she gains the strength to live life without the crutches.
During a recent lunch with Sue she told me that the rights have already been sold. To whom it may concern: In an ideal world, Cate Blanchett would play Sue, and Sean Penn would play the mysterious Dr. Winters. Read this book that came out of Sue's shedding-of-addictions!

On sale here.

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