Esquire called Alex Lemon’s Happy, “one of our time’s most compelling memoirs…..An electrifying portrait of a body in crisis.”
They couldn’t be more right.
His freshman year of college, Alex Lemon was the star catcher on the Macalester College baseball team, the boy getting the girl, the guy at every party smoking a blunt and shot gunning beers, the kid everyone called Happy, often without even knowing his real name.
In the spring of 1997, he had his first stroke.
For two years he coped with his deteriorating health by sinking deeper into alcohol and drug abuse. Maintaining a charming and carefree exterior, Lemon endured two more brain bleeds, and haunted by the sexual abuse he suffered as a small child, a crippling depression. After he undergoes risky brain surgery it is his free-spirited mother who nurses him back to health, once again teaching him to stand on his own.
Happy is one of those rare books that gets inside of you and refuses to let go – a book that you want to read in one giant gulp.
Alex Lemon’s Happy is a pitch perfect account of the battles we fight against ourselves and our egos. There are few books that successfully articulate what it’s like to feign composure while suffering from an invisible terror inside your body, and this is one of them. Yet, despite its often dark subject matter, Happy is a refreshingly optimistic read. Lemon draws you in with the playfulness of a poet let loose on prose, and for that I am thankful.
Alex Lemon’s memoir is a rare treat.