Everything is Horrible and Wonderful

One phone call. That's all it took to change Stephanie Wittels Wachs's life forever. Her beloved brother, Harris Wittels, a prodigy in the comedy world who coined the word “humblebrag” and was known for his work on NBC's Parks and Recreation, had died of a heroin overdose at just thirty years old. In her raw, unflinchingly honest memoir, Everything is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love and Loss, Wachs attempts to make sense of such a senseless tragedy, a tragedy that is simultaneously destroying her family and “trending” on social media. Alternating between her brother's struggle with addiction and the first year after his death, this compelling portrait of a comedic genius and a profound exploration of the love between siblings has been called A Year of Magical Thinking for a new generation of readers.

In this candid talk, Stephanie will discuss the horrible roller coaster of living with, and loving, an addict, and explore the wonderfully transformative power of grief. Hear how someone who always feared the worst survived her biggest nightmare, banished her anxiety, exorcised her demons, and inadvertently reinvented herself through the process.

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Primary Entry: Music Badge, Platinum Badge, Film Badge, Interactive Badge
Format: Book reading
Event Type: Session
Level: Beginner