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NPR programming VP reveals disturbed childhood in ‘Giving Up the Ghost’

"Giving Up the Ghost: A Story About Friendship 80's Rock, A Lost Scrap of Paper, and What It Means to Be Haunted" by Eric Nuzum
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Many teenagers feel like outcasts, pariahs and misfits, but in his book “Giving up the Ghost,” NPR’s vice president for programming, Eric Nuzum, reveals that his teen years were so disturbingly disenfranchising that he found himself on the brink of suicide. The subtitle of Nuzum’s book concisely sums up its contents: “A Story About Friendship, ‘80s Rock, A Lost Scrap of Paper, and What It Means to Be Haunted.”

Nuzum credits his friend Laura with giving him a reason not to end his own life during his tumultuous formative years and is also thankful to his mother for insisting he check himself into a mental hospital. In his own account of his coming of age story, Nuzum also describes how his very real emotional struggles manifested in the hauntingly surreal form of a ghost who visited his dreams. Listen in as Nuzum recalls his demons and tells Patt how he made it out alive.


Eric Nuzum, vice-president for programming at NPR; author of the memoir “Giving Up The Ghost: A Story About Friendship, 80s Rock, a Lost Scrap of Paper, and What It Means to Be