A revealing, courageous, fascinating and funny account of the author’s experiment with microdoses of LSD in an effort to treat a debilitating mood disorder, of her quest to understand a misunderstood drug, and of her search for a really good day.
When a small vial arrives in her mailbox from "Lewis Carroll," Ayelet Waldman is at a low point. Her mood storms have become intolerably severe, she has tried nearly every medication possible, her husband and children are suffering with her. So she opens the vial, places two drops on her tongue, and joins the ranks of an underground, but increasingly vocal group of scientists and civilians successfully using therapeutic microdoses of LSD. As Waldman charts her experience over the course of a month-- bursts of productivity, sleepless nights, a newfound sense of equanimity--she also explores the history and mythology of LSD, the cutting-edge research into the drug, and the byzantine policies that control it. Drawing on her experience as a Federal public defender, and as the mother of teenagers, and her research into the therapeutic value of psychedelics, Waldman has produced a book that is eye-opening, often hilarious, and utterly enthralling.
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Novelist and essayist Waldman (Bad Mother)—mother of four, married to another high-profile writer (Michael Chabon)—worked as a federal public defender and taught at prestigious law schools. After struggling with mood swings and bouts of depression, Waldman becomes a “self-study psychedelic researcher,” taking small doses of LSD on repeating three-day cycles and discovers plenty to exonerate the illicit substance. It’s a major departure for the author of novels and a mystery series, and though the book’s subtitle broadcasts the happy ending, the hows and whys of her journey are the great payoffs. Waldman structures the book as a diary of her microdosing protocol, but each entry is a launchpad for topics on which she speaks frankly and knowledgeably. Her journal tackles drug policy, her days as an attorney, parenting, writing, and marriage maintenance. It’s a highly engaging combination of research and self-discovery, laced with some endearingly honest comic moments. She is exactly the sort of sensible, middle-aged, switched-on, spontaneous woman whom any reader would enjoy taking a trip with. Waldman, by her own account, is firmly in control when it comes to controlled substances: she doesn’t want to feel out of it; she just wants to get on with it. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 09/26/2016
Release date: 01/24/2017