Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change (Paperback)
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Part memoir, part history, part journalistic exposé, Trip is a look at psychedelic drugs, literature, and alienation from one of the twenty-first century's most innovative novelists--The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test for a new generation. A Vintage Original.
While reeling from one of the most creative--but at times self-destructive--outpourings of his life, Tao Lin discovered the strange and exciting work of Terence McKenna. McKenna, the leading advocate of psychedelic drugs since Timothy Leary, became for Lin both an obsession and a revitalizing force. In Trip, Lin's first book-length work of nonfiction, he charts his recovery from pharmaceutical drugs, his surprising and positive change in worldview, and his four-year engagement with some of the hardest questions: Why do we make art? Is the world made of language? What happens when we die? And is the imagination more real than the universe?
In exploring these ideas and detailing his experiences with psilocybin, DMT, salvia, and cannabis, Lin takes readers on a trip through nature, his own past, psychedelic culture, and the unknown.
About the Author
Tao Lin is the author of the novels Taipei and Richard Yates and Eeeee Eee Eeee, the novella Shoplifting from American Apparel, the story collection Bed, and the poetry collections cognitive-behavioral therapy and you are a little bit happier than i am. He was born in Virginia, has taught in Sarah Lawrence College's MFA program, and is the founder and editor of Muumuu House.
“Trip is, if not a guide to self-help, a book about a person trying to be happier, in part by changing the kinds of drugs he uses. . .another theory of psychedelics emerges, which suggests that the most mystical revelations concern earthly themes: birth, death, and the body; family, friends, and love.” —Emily Witt, The New Yorker
“Trip is a sane book about becoming sane, and Lin’s most valuable work to date.” —The Irish Times
"[Lin does] an incredible job describing what a psychedelic experience feels like." —The Village Voice
“An immediately significant entry in the literature of derangement and recovery.” —Vulture, “The Best Books of the Year (So Far)”
“[Lin’s] best yet. . . . His rendering of tripping is perfect—better even. . .than Aldous Huxley’s elegant and evocative passages in The Doors of Perception, because Lin’s account conveys reverence and immersion without grandiosity. And that allows humor to leak through. . . . A joy to read.” —Bookforum
“Addictive…. Strikingly vivid…. Lin coherently challenges the sense behind labeling psychedelics as controlled substances…. A kaleidoscopic fever dream of ideas, idolatry, and lots of drugs: uniquely produced and curiously intoxicating.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An introspective work…. [Lin] chronicles his experiences with various psychedelic drugs in his first nonfiction book, weaving autobiography, history, and spiritual journey together to pose existential questions.” —Publishers Weekly
“Trip is not only a book about drugs--it's about the condition of humans at this point in history, troublingly divorced from our natural capacity for awe by our chemically depleted bodies and minds. This book has changed how I understand myself on a cellular level. It's a superbly researched, moving, and formally inventive quest for re-enchantment, and Tao Lin's most compelling and profound book yet.” —Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?
"Trip transcends the ranks of drug memoirs to give us a characteristically nontraditional, completely unique, hilarious, tender, and at times frightening departure from everyday life such as only Tao Lin can write. With fascinating specificity, it asks essential questions about the nature of time, reality, consciousness, and the self, while holding a looking glass up to contemporary life, to ask, Is this really all there is?—and to answer, No, the possibility for knowledge is endless, and we should never cease searching." —Sarah Gerard, author of Sunshine State
“Similar to the psychedelic drugs Tao Lin writes about here, this book introduces new ways to consider language, perception, and recovery. It’s a joy to watch Lin interrogate his obsessions so earnestly and thoroughly in an attempt to understand more about the world as he knows it. Trip is a book for anyone interested in learning about what the human mind is capable of seeing and believing.” —Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I’m Someone Else
“Tao Lin took all the drugs so that we wouldn’t have to, and the result is astonishing, mind-expanding, beautiful, and profound. The whole of humanity seems contained in this one book.” —Kristen Iskandrian, author of Motherest
“Tao Lin’s writing reliably restores my sense of the inexhaustible strangeness of even one minute of human thought and feeling.” —Michael W. Clune, author of White Out