White Out

Named a “Best Book of 2013” by The New Yorker, NPR’s “On Point,” The Millions, and elsewhere.


How do you describe an addiction in which the drug of choice creates a hole in your memory, a “white out,” so that every time you use it is the first time--new, fascinating, and vivid? Michael W. Clune’s original, edgy yet literary telling of his own story takes us straight inside such an addiction--what he calls the Memory Disease. With black humor and quick, rhythmic prose, Clune’s gripping account of life inside the heroin underground reads like no other.

Hazelden Press

Hazelden Press

"The unusual risk taken by Clune's unusually good addiction memoir is its enduring lyrical reverence for heroin. The heroin is so close you can see the white. It hasn't been relegated to the past. It has an honest and dangerous smile. It's right here, whitely licking its chops." ~Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker 

"An astonishing new book! White Out is more than a recovery memoir. It is a phenomenology of heroin addiction--the single best thing I have read about the drug--and a deep, often beautiful meditation on the nature of memory, pleasure, and time." ~Lorin Stein, The Paris Review Daily

"His style is direct and confessional, and draws attention to the humour in addiction. He also writes about his theory of addiction... The novelty doesn’t come from the feeling of doing the drug, which Clune says ‘starts to suck pretty quickly’. Instead it’s the image, and the persistent newness of the image, that keeps him coming back." ~Miranda Critchley, London Review of Books. 

"Clune's razor-sharp description of the magical first time he got high exemplifies why this stands out among dime-a-dozen addiction memoirs.…At its best, this chronicle keenly touches on the devastations of heroin with disciplined literary flair." ~Publishers Weekly, Starred Review 

"A memoir that reads like a lost modernist novel--James Joyce as a junkie in modern day Baltimore. James Frey eat your heart out." ~Adam Wilson, The Millions