Praise from James Brown, author of This River and The Los Angeles Diaries:
“This is an extremely moving and powerful memoir. Elhajj doesn’t linger on the ugliness of addiction itself but focuses on the solution, and the hard road that as addicts and alcoholics we must all travel if we choose to turn our lives around. Elhajj is a fine writer and brave soul with a tremendous heart. His story is one of staggering loss and seemingly insurmountable struggles, but in the end he leaves us, victorious, with the greatest message of all, one of hope and redemption.”
Praise from Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic & Desire:
“Dopefiend is a stunning account of one man’s stubborn struggle for sobriety and sanity, alongside a heartfelt memoir of how hard (and vitally important) it is to love. Tim Elhajj shares it all, the pain, the shame, and the joy, in clear, illuminating prose. You must read this book.”
Praise from Louise DeSalvo, author of Writing as a Way of Healing:
“In this brilliant memoir, Tim Elhajj illuminates what the long, hard road looks like for those of us who are in recovery or those of us who love someone in recovery. The daily effort, the scores of setbacks weathered and small triumphs hard-earned that, in time, move us into a deep, intimate, authentic relationship to ourselves, to others, and to the world — one that we thought we’d never have; one that might not be what another might choose but that is what we require. I will keep this book near; I will give it to friends: I will cherish it always.”
Praise from Theo Pauline Nestor, author of How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed:
“I love this book! From the first page, I was swept up into the story and the narrator’s progress from a Lower East Side homeless shelter to rehab and beyond. Most stories of addiction focus on the addiction side of the story and say little about what the actual work of recovery looks like. Dopefiend is a riveting portrayal of the recovery side of the equation. Both funny and poignant, this book belongs on the shelf beside the very best of recovery memoirs, such as Knapp’s Drinking: A Love Story and Karr’s Lit.”
Praise from Jim Harbaugh S.J., author of A 12-Step Approach to the Sunday Readings and A 12-Step Approach to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius:
I recommend Tim Elhajj’s Dopefiend to anyone interested in chemical dependency and recovery from it. The book’s subtitle, “A Father’s Journey from Addiction to Redemption,” more accurately sums up its content. Like Franz Wright or Mary Karr, Elhajj lets the vivid details contained in his punchy prose make his points for him, without editorializing or preaching. The lean story that results gets right to the point: it’s possible for an addict to change, with time and grace, from an inept and disconnected father to exactly the kind of example and confidant a son needs when the son has become an adult.
Praise from Matt Briggs author of The Remains of River Names and Shoot the Buffalo:
Tim Elhajj tells the story of his tenuous relationship with his son and Elhajj’s recovery from the heroin addiction he acquired during his childhood in a Pennsylvania steel town. While Dopefiend follows the twelve steps of a recovery program, these steps serve as the frame that hold together a sequence of masterly told vignettes. In one heartrending incident Elhajj stands in line during a dismal Christmas to receive an already wrapped and donated toy for his son. Elhajj doesn’t know his son’s address. Sentiment is such a dangerous ground for most writers since it easily falls into sappiness; Yet, Elhajj instinctively finds the right balance in telling his often gut wrenching tale. Dopefiend should be put on the same shelf as William Burroughs Junkie and Nick Flynn’s Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.