In the style of The Recovering, and Educated: A Memoir, Stephanie Wittels Wachs delves into the dark world of loss, grief, and addiction in a heartbreaking but hopeful memoir
With a captivating foreward by Aziz Ansari
One phone call was all it took to change Stephanie Wittels Wachs's life forever... Her younger brother, Harris, a comedy star known for his work on Parks and Recreation and for introducing the world to the art of the humblebrag, died of a heroin overdose. How do you make sense of such a tragic end to a life full of so much hilarious brilliance?
In beautiful, unsentimental, and surprisingly funny prose, Stephanie Wittels Wachs alternates between her brother's struggle with addiction, which she learned about three days before her wedding, and the first year after his death, in all its emotional devastation. This compelling portrait of a comedic genius and a profound exploration of the love between siblings is A Year of Magical Thinking for a new generation of readers.
Everything is Horrible and Wonderful will make you laugh, cry, and wonder if that possum on the fence is really your brother's spirit animal.
A touching memoir that delves into addiction, grief recovery, and healing after loss, this poignant story ultimately showcases the enduring love we have for those we lose too soon.
Wittels Wachs's first book sweetly but prosaically recounts the months leading up to and following her brother Harris's 2015 death from a heroin overdose. In her recounting of her brother's past and his rising success (he was a writer and executive producer for Parks & Recreation), she hopes to find some meaning behind his death. With each chapter, the perspective switches between first-person recounts of Harris's life and a charming second-person address to Harris ("Visiting the cemetery isn't a natural urge, but the day before your birthday I force myself to go... It's also April 19, the two-month anniversary of your death"). Wittels Wachs shares anecdotes, scripts, messages, and letters of Harris's that display his acceptance of his friends' foibles: she quotes her brother at his funeral, saying, " Let's stop finding a new witch of the week and burning them at the stake. We are all horrible and wonderful and figuring it out. " Wittels Wachs can be a little too self-involved, as when she concludes that her brother's death is a personal affront ("It all... feels like a punishment for some transgression in a past life"). Nevertheless, the story itself is a well-intentioned, honestly told one of love for and loss of an exceptional person.