JOSHUA MOHR discusses his new memoir SIRENS, with KAROLINA WACLAWIAK

Sirens (Two Dollar Radio)

With vulnerability, grit, and hard-won humor, acclaimed novelist Joshua Mohr returns with his first book-length work of non-fiction, a raw and big-hearted chronicle of substance abuse, relapse, and family compassion.

Sirens provides a harrowing and complicated account of Mohr's years of substance abuse and culpability. Employing the characterization and chimerical prose for which he has been lauded, Mohr leaves no rock from his sordid past un-turned, from his childhood swilling fuzzy navels as a latch-key kid, through the black-outs and fist-fights, his first failed marriage to his path to sobriety, through the birth of his daughter and the three strokes he suffers in his thirties that reveal he has a literal hole in his heart.

Sirens is a spectacularly moving tome of honesty and emotion from one of our most gifted contemporary writers.

Praise for Sirens

"New Dad nearly becomes Newly Dead Dad in Joshua Mohr’s astonishing, heart-in-the-mouth, darkly funny and wildly inspiring memoir, Sirens. What Mohr endured—three strokes in his 30s and heart surgery, and that’s just the fun part—is more than most of us will suffer in a lifetime. Happily, the worse his prognosis, the stronger his writing. Until, by the end of his hospital party, what emerges is a cri de coeur of power, intensity, and—I’m just going to say it—love. This is the kind of book that makes you want to grab strangers at bus stops and scream at them to read. Think Kathy Acker, think Denis Johnson, think Amy Hempel. Sirens is a truly powerful work of art, by an artist we’re all lucky to have alive and working.”—Jerry Stahl

"To the short list of genuinely great addiction memoirs we can now add Joshua Mohr's Sirens, a searing and at times hilarious account of Mohr's lost years in the dive bars and gutters of San Francisco. Like Mary Karr and Jerry Stahl, there is no line Mohr won't cross, either in his erstwhile quest for self-immolation, or his fearless honesty in reporting back from that time. But what sets this book apart is Mohr's unwillingness to traffic in pat notions of redemption: he cleans up, sure, but he also takes pains to remind us that the monster is always lurking, ever-patient, waiting for the right moment to show its face and seek release."—Ron Currie, Jr.

"This isn’t your average recovery memoir. No mere spinning of war stories here. Joshua Mohr has written a raw, openhearted account of his struggles with alcohol and drugs, told in clear, beautiful prose that doesn’t romanticize his substance abuse or his hard work toward sobriety. Mohr’s honesty in this book is astonishing and necessary, his candor about hitting bottom and relapsing deeply moving and important. It’s a hell of a compelling read."—Cari Luna

“Fast and fascinating as the life it chronicles, it's also a blueprint for how to rebuild a life you've burned down, a paean to the redemptive powers of love and art.”—Justin St. Germain

Joshua Mohr is the author of Sirens, a memoir, as well as five novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written Fight Song and Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O, The Oprah Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as Termite Parade, an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. His most recent novel All This Life won the Northern California Book Award. He is the founder of Decant Editorial. 

Karolina Waclawiak is the critically acclaimed author of How To Get Into The Twin Palms and The Invaders. AWOL, a feature she co-wrote with Deb Shoval, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Formerly an editor at the Believer, she is now the Deputy Culture Editor at Buzzfeed.

Joshua Mohr photo by Shelby Brakken

Event date: 
Sunday, January 22, 2017 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Sirens By Joshua Mohr Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781937512347
Published: Two Dollar Radio - January 10th, 2017

All This Life: A Novel By Joshua Mohr Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781593766443
Published: Soft Skull - June 14th, 2016

Fight Song: A Novel By Joshua Mohr Cover Image
ISBN: 9781593765088
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soft Skull - February 12th, 2013

Some Things That Meant the World to Me By Joshua Mohr Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9780982015117
Published: Two Dollar Radio - June 1st, 2009

How to Get Into the Twin Palms By Karolina Waclawiak Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9780983247180
Published: Two Dollar Radio - August 14th, 2012