Literature: Burroughs’ Wolf at the Table

“Where there is nothing, absolutely anything is possible, and this thrilled me. It gave me hope.”
-Augusten Burroughs in A Wolf at the Table

Augusten Burroughs’ newest book, A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father –St. Martin’s Press, 2008–is probably not the best book to give your dad this Father’s Day. But it may make you feel thankful if your father does not resemble the one in this story. In A Wolf at the Table, Burroughs tells yet another story of his family’s history, and in this one, his father takes center stage. A man whose offenses include starving a pet to death, being calculatingly cold, and skipping out on family vacations, Burroughs’ father is this book’s villain. This memoir will likely inspire more sympathy than rage in its readers, however, as they come to see the sadness that permeates Burroughs’ childhood and continues into his adult life. Burroughs may be best known for the tales of his darkly comic upbringing, as they are told in Running with Scissors (2002). Little of that comedy is found in his latest book; this one takes a deeper, darker turn into the subject matter that Burroughs has proven he already knows so well.

CLICK HERE for a link to my review of this book’s audio version on the About.com Contemporary Literature site.

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