Mayhem: Sigrid Rausing with Andrew Solomon
Where: McNally Jackson
52 Prince St.
212-274-1160 Price: Free
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In the summer of 2012 a woman named Eva was found dead in the London townhouse she shared with her husband, Hans K. Rausing. The couple had struggled with drug addiction for years, often under the glare of tabloid headlines. Now, writing with singular clarity and restraint, Hans’ sister, the editor and publisher Sigrid Rausing, tries to make sense of what happened. In Mayhem, she asks the difficult questions those close to the world of addiction must face. “Who can help the addict, consumed by a shaming hunger, a need beyond control? There is no medicine: the drugs are the medicine. And who can help their families, so implicated in the self-destruction of the addict? Who can help when the very notion of ‘help’ becomes synonymous with an exercise of power; a familial police state; an end to freedom, in the addict’s mind?” An eloquent and timely attempt to understand the conundrum of addiction—and a memoir as devastating as it is riveting. “Mayhem is more than a story of tragic addiction and its effects on a family. It is a fierce, lyrical, and lucid memoir that asks agonizing questions about guilt, innocence, and judgment and reminds us how difficult it can be to untangle one from the other.” — Siri Hustvedt