APRIL I ANHÖRIGSVERIGE – APRIL IN QUIET DESPAIR

By Susanna Alakoski

Literary history is crowded with drinking men. The addict is in the limelight. Women are portrayed as co-dependent alcoholic wives regardless of social class. But now the children of alcoholics and other relatives step forward on the literary scene and testify to a totally unglamorous existence. We have lived without trust, with denial, fear, boundlessness and insecurity. Chaos, violence. Loss, sorrow. Shame.

All of us lived in quiet powerlessness. Some of us were forgiving, gave new chances. We supervised, supported, pleaded and begged. Some of us yo-yoed between soberness and relapses. Many of us thought that it was our fault, when injustices poisoned the water and trifles took the shape of hand grenades that were thrown through the apartments during intoxication. We found our mothers passed out on the floor. Our fathers jumped from bridges. We experienced our siblings’ hash psychosis. Most of us stopped inviting friends over. We waited for the good fairy. Some of us went speechless, others carried out sabotage. Someone thought suicide was the only way out.

How many alcoholics are there in the world? How many narcotics abusers? The number of relatives is unbearable. And yet, without minimizing the suffering inherent in growing up with substance abuse, without diminishing the struggle for survival: among the disadvantages there’re also advantages. If we, the relatives – wives, husbands, parents, grandparents, siblings and children – get the possibility to heal an ocean of capacity opens up. How many can we be, out there in the working life?

April in Quiet Despair begins where October in Swedish Deprivation ended.

ABOUT THE BOOK

First published by Albert Bonniers förlag, Sweden 2015

RIGHTS SOLD TO

Sweden, Albert Bonnier

REVIEWS

”…det Susanna Alakoski gör känns ovärderligt. Hon låter de anhöriga till missbrukarna få sin historia skriven på ett sätt som är unikt och storartat.”

DN

”Dessa sorgebrev är skrivna med att slags rasande och djupt sorgsen frenesi, där Alakoski gör det kollektiva berättandet till sitt.”

SvD

”Den svenska berättelsen om kön och klass och missbruk blir nu helare, sannare. Och samtidigt en stor kärlekshistoria.”

Arbetet

”… varje mening är högt laddad och utan säkerhetsmarginaler.”

Norrbottens-Kuriren.

”… en viktig och varm bok som beskriver anhörigskapet precis så komplext det är. Och språket så poetiskt vackert…”

Östgöta Correspondenten

”Ett vi som tillsammans söker, minns, plågas, skrattar, gråter, ger upp och hoppas.”

Nordvästra Skånes Tidningar

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Fiction