The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by Madeleine Brand

Jeanne Darst: 'Fiction Ruined My Family'

Listen to story

Download this story 8.0MB

Writer and performer Jeanne Darst discusses her new memoir, "Fiction Ruined My Family." Darst tells tales of riding the subway topless, stealing food while babysitting for her sister and drinking to excess in her uproarious account of crazy family life.

She chronicles her hectic childhood – her parents were high society alcoholics driven to divorce and financial ruin in their literary pursuits. Her father uprooted the family to move from St. Louis to Amagansett, Long Island because he claimed it was a more conducive environment for his novel-writing.

When her family fell apart, Darst grappled with her own alcoholism and tumultuous relationships as she embarked on a career as a writer. Darst has written and performed in several of her own plays. She has also contributed to the New York Times and public radio's This American Life.