Improbable, hilarious and true, Running with Scissors was a confessional stand-up routine enlivened by painful slaps of candor.
When it appeared in 2002, it made its author, Augusten Burroughs, a literary celebrity, a status he has built upon with his subsequent works: a memoir about his addictions Dry, two collections of essays Magical Thinking and Possible Side Effects and a novel Sellivision.
Each stings with his characteristic caustic humour.
In his latest, A Wolf at the Table, however, the tone darkens. Contemplating his fearful yearning for the love of his father the laughs dried up.
In this major Writers Festival address, Burroughs explains to Jennifer Byrne why he abandoned the deflecting techniques of humour and opened himself up to the emotional hits- Melbourne Writers Festival
Augusten Burroughs was born in 1965 in Pittsburgh, PA. He was raised in Western Massachusetts and has no formal education beyond grade school. At the age of thirty-four, after a successful career in advertising, Augusten began what would become his first book, the novel, Sellevision. Seven best-selling books have followed, including the memoirs Running with Scissors and Dry, and the essay collections Magical Thinking and Possible Side Effects. He has contributed numerous commentaries for National Public Radio's Morning Edition, and his writing has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, the London Times, and the Guardian UK. Augusten lives in New York City.
Photo credit: Frances Palmer
Jennifer Byrne has 26 years experience in television, radio and print journalism. Over the years she has interviewed many world leaders for television programs such as "60 Minutes", "7.30 Report" and "Lateline". She is currently presenter of the "First Tuesday Book Club" on ABC TV.