Education: New School University, M.F. A., 2004.
Writer. Helping Orphans Worldwide, New York, NY, employee.
Gone to the Crazies: A Memoir, HC (New York, NY), 2007.
Founding editor of H.O.W., the Helping Orphans Worldwide art and literary journal. Coeditor of Pindeldyboz. Contributor to periodicals, including Small Spiral Notebook, Opium, Red China, and Fifth Street Review.
Writer Alison Weaver earned a master of fine arts degree in creative writing in 2004 from the New School University. She volunteers at the PEN American Center Prison Writing Program and has contributed articles to a number of periodicals and journals, including Small Spiral Notebook, Opium, Red China, and Fifth Street Review.
In 2007 Weaver published a memoir on her life called Gone to the Crazies: A Memoir. In it she outlines her upbringing in a posh New York-based family with a distant father and an alcoholic mother, having been raised primarily by nannies. She never felt like she fit in at the high-end parties she attended with her parents. By age nine, Weaver had already been drunk and was a regular drinker by her early teens. She frequently got in trouble in school and was eventually enrolled in Cascade, a school that uses intense therapeutics (or brainwashing as Weaver describes it) to help troubled teens. Weaver then entered college and became a regular in the California rave scenes, where she started using heavy drugs.
Writing on the Randomville Web site, Jeff Siwanowicz observed that "there is an unsettling ‘woe is me’ feeling to a lot of this memoir." Siwanowicz noted that "for the regular reader, the story is fairly drab with little context to back repeated claims of having lived a horrible childhood. Here's to hoping this will not be another Million Little Pieces scandal." Kathryn Harrison, writing in the New York Times Book Review, stated: "Whatever one calls it, the impulse to flee from introspection is part of what disables Gone to the Crazies. Not only is addiction a poor catalyst for creativity—the sometimes brilliant works of drug addicts and alcoholics are achieved in spite of their demons—but it turns out to be a less-than-satisfying subject." Harrison remarked that "for all the readers who don't have Weaver's experience of drinking themselves unconscious, hoovering up lines of coke, mixing speedballs or shooting ketamine, books like Gone to the Crazies provide a window onto the kind of sordid scenes about which they are curious but haven't the information necessary to imagine for themselves." Booklist contributor Allison Block commented: "Though repetitive, this tale of high school gone bad will speak directly to teens." However, Block did find the story both "tiresome" and "disturbing." A contributor to Reference & Research Book News found the book full of "dark details," which Weaver describes "candidly." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews mentioned that Weaver talks about her recovery "in an irksomely self-important and melodramatic way." The same contributor stated that "Weaver's adequate-but-no-more prose is perfectly suited to her … tale."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Weaver, Alison, Gone to the Crazies: A Memoir, HC (New York, NY), 2007.
Booklist, July 1, 2007, Allison Block, review of Gone to the Crazies, p. 17.
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2007, review of Gone to the Crazies.
New York Times Book Review, July 15, 2007, Kathryn Harrison, review of Gone to the Crazies, p. L12.
Reference & Research Book News, November, 2007, review of Gone to the Crazies.
Randomville,http://www.randomville.com/ (July 6, 2007), Jeff Siwanowicz, review of Gone to the Crazies.