by Sigrid Rausing


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Mayhem by Sigrid Rausing

A powerful, clear-eyed memoir about the impact of addiction on a family

In the summer of 2012 American-born Eva Rausing was found dead of a drug overdose in the London townhouse she shared with her husband, Hans Kristian Rausing. The couple had struggled with addiction for years, often under the glare of tabloid headlines.
     Now, writing with singular clarity and restraint, Hans's sister Sigrid Rausing, a highly regarded publisher, editor, and writer, attempts to make sense of what happened. With compassion and eloquence she traces Hans's and Eva's addiction, their increasing isolation and paranoia, and the shattering events that preceded Eva's sudden, tragic death.
     But this book goes beyond the story of two people, or even of a single family: it also pulls the lens back to investigate the nature of addiction generally. Rausing draws upon her background as an anthropologist, referencing a variety of sources from classic psychological studies to provocative works of art.
     Mayhem is a memoir about witnessing addiction, and how the very notion of "help" can become synonymous with an exercise of power and an end to freedom in the addict's mind. It is about how to write about a family that is both public and intensely private, and about how writing itself can feel like an act of betrayal.
     A memoir that is as riveting and poignant as it is necessary.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451493125
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 507,245
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Sigrid Rausing is the editor of Granta magazine, and the publisher of Granta Books. She is the author of two previous books: History, Memory, and Identity in Post-Soviet Estonia and Everything Is Wonderful, which was short-listed for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. She has a PhD in social anthropology from University College London, and is an honorary fellow of the London School of Economics and St Antony's College, Oxford. She lives in London.

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