Running with Scissors: A Memoir (Paperback)
The #1 New York Times Bestseller
An Entertainment Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year
Now a Major Motion Picture
Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor's bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock- therapy machine could provide entertainment. The funny, harrowing and bestselling account of an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.
Running with Scissors Acknowledgments
Gratitude doesn't begin to describe it: Jennifer Enderlin, Christopher Schelling, John Murphy, Gregg Sullivan, Kim Cardascia, Michael Storrings, and everyone at St. Martin's Press. Thank you: Lawrence David, Suzanne Finnamore, Robert Rodi, Bret Easton Ellis, Jon Pepoon, Lee Lodes, Jeff Soares, Kevin Weidenbacher, Lynda Pearson, Lona Walburn, Lori Greenburg, John DePretis, and Sheila Cobb. I would also like to express my appreciation to my mother and father for, no matter how inadvertently, giving me such a memorable childhood. Additionally, I would like to thank the real-life members of the family portrayed in this book for taking me into their home and accepting me as one of their own. I recognize that their memories of the events described in this book are different than my own. They are each fine, decent, and hard-working people. The book was not intended to hurt the family. Both my publisher and I regret any unintentional harm resulting from the publishing and marketing of Running with Scissors. Most of all, I would like to thank my brother for demonstrating, by example, the importance of being wholly unique.
About the Author
Augusten Burroughs is the author of Running with Scissors, Dry, Magical Thinking: True Stories, Possible Side Effects, A Wolf at the Table and You Better Not Cry. He is also the author of the novel Sellevision, which is currently in development for film. The film version of Running with Scissors, directed by Ryan Murphy and produced by Brad Pitt, was released in October 2006 and starred Joseph Cross, Brian Cox, Annette Bening (nominated for a Golden Globe for her role), Alec Baldwin and Evan Rachel Wood. Augusten's writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers around the world including The New York Times and New York Magazine. In 2005 Entertainment Weekly named him one of "The 25 Funniest People in America." He resides in New York City and Western Massachusetts.
“I just finished reading the most amazing book. Running with Scissors is hilarious, freaky-deaky, berserk, controlled, transcendent, touching, affectionate, vengeful, all-embracing....It makes a good run at blowing every other [memoir] out of the water.” —Carolyn See, The Washington Post
“Funny and rich with child's eye details of adults who have gone off the rails.” —The New York Times Book Review
“It is as funny as it is twisted.” —GQ
“A hilarious and horrifying memoir.” —Los Angeles Times
“Harrowing and hilarious. I haven't laughed this much since David Sedaris's last book.” —Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy
“Running with Scissors is a cut above...compelling...the book celebrates Burroughs' resilient, upbeat spirit, which helps him surmount one of the weirder childhoods on record.” —USA Today
“The anecdotes can be so flippant, and so insanely funny (quite literally), that the effect is that of a William Burroughs situation comedy.” —The New York Times
“Burroughs defies the ‘woe is me' stigma of modern memoir with a raucous recounting of his loony teenage years.” —Entertainment Weekly
“I was reminded of Roald Dahl's Boy and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Augusten Burroughs has produced a memoir that's funny and sharp but also humane, as charming as it is revealing.” —Kurt Andersen, author of Turn of the Century
“A memoir that is both horrifying and mordantly funny.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Burroughs has memorialized his bizarre childhood showing off a dark wit that often rivals that 0of David Sedaris--while telling a true story that would make even Sedaris cringe.” —New York Magazine
“Burroughs tempers the pathos with sharp riotous humor... Edgier, but reminiscent of Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, this is a survival story readers won't forget.” —Booklist