STEPHEN ELLIOTT discusses his collection of essays SOMETIMES I THINK ABOUT IT

Sometimes I Think About It (Graywolf Press)

Building on the extraordinary storytelling that characterized his breakout book, The Adderall Diaries, Stephen Elliott tells a powerful story about outsiders and underdogs. Elliott traces his childhood with an abusive and erratic father, his life on the streets as a teenager, and his growing interest in cross-dressing and masochism. His search for dignity and happiness leads him to write of a man who loses his family in a rock slide, of the vexing realities of life in Palestine, and of a young man caught in the prison-industrial complex. And his abiding interest in the spectacle of money in America takes him from pop music and pornography to publishing and the tech industry’s assault on West Los Angeles. Through personal essays, reportage, and profiles written over fifteen years, Stephen Elliott tells with great sympathy the stories of those who are broken and seek to be whole.

Praise for Sometimes I Think About It

“I love these essays so hard I want to chew on them. For the bite of it. Stephen Elliott has the uncanny ability to go out into the culture and locate a self set loose from consumer culture and money identity. When it comes to outsider bodies and lives and stories, Stephen Elliott is there to remind us that the edges are where our cultural shape comes from. Without the edges, the center doesn't even exist. Sometimes I Think About It is an outsider tour de force.”—Lidia Yuknavitch

“In lean, often heartbreaking prose, Stephen Elliott gives us an American landscape defined by lost opportunities for human connection. There are sons without fathers, left unprotected; fathers who cannot love their sons; grown men haunted by the absence of family. In intensely personal essays and intimate reported stories Elliott writes of this painful gap—between our need for closeness and our actual capacity to care for one another.”—Alex Mar

“I am among the many readers who have been waiting impatiently for a new book from Stephen Elliott. I devoured Sometimes I Think About It in a matter of hours and set about rereading it at once. I did this because I read to feel the presence of a wise, true friend on the page and because Stephen Elliott never fails to supply that, plus amazement and sorrow and every detail the rest of us miss. He is writing here in the tradition of Didion and Hunter Thompson. These are fierce meditations on outcasts and outlaws, on what it means to have your world slip out from under you. I cannot think of a writer who reveals to us the terrors and wonder of disequilibrium like Elliott. This is exquisite work from one of our finest writers.”—Steve Almond

“Stephen Elliott’s essays treat the darkest subjects with the lightest touch, showing humanity’s ugliness as one side of a spinning coin, with beauty on the other; how beauty is often suspect, brutality easier to trust. Frankly intimate and frequently funny, Elliott’s observations—on loneliness, on sex work, on the people of Silicon Valley—open distances that you sensed but couldn’t see until he showed you: there, there.”—Padma Viswanathan

Stephen Elliott is the author of The Adderall Diaries and Happy Baby, which was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. He is the founding editor of the Rumpus and the director of the movies About Cherry and After Adderall.

Photo by Chris Cobb

Event date: 
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Sometimes I Think about It: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977757
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - November 7th, 2017

Happy Baby Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977764
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - November 7th, 2017

The Adderall Diaries Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555975708
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - September 28th, 2010