Feature

Author of the week: Julie Myerson

Julie Myerson's account of her son's drug addiction in <em>The Lost Child </em>has caused plenty of controversy in the London tabloids. Is her book "another betrayal," as her son claims?

Julie Myerson has “unquestionably crossed a line” with her latest memoir, said Brendan O’Neill in The Christian Science Monitor. While countless authors before have revealed family secrets, the 48-year-old London novelist and newspaper columnist has written an entire book about the supposed drug addiction of a son, now 20, who claims that the accusation is merely a product of his parents’ “naïve terror” of skunk cannabis. The Lost Child has just been published in America, but the British edition has already roiled plenty of controversy. Shortly before her book hit the shelves, London tabloids tracked down the young man she’d kicked out of the family home three years earlier. He termed the book “another betrayal” by a mother who’d been profiting off candid­ motherhood columns­ since he and his two younger siblings were toddlers. “She’s the one who’s addicted,” he said.

What a sad situation, said Camilla Long in the London Sunday Times. Neither mother nor son seems to have been out to hurt the other. “He’s been angry, and he’s been great,” Myerson says of her recent conversations with her oldest. “It’s my fault.” But she also insists that she’s still proud of her new book and confident that she made the right decision by banishing him from home after a physical altercation. “I don’t care what people say about me in the press. It is nothing compared with watching your boy walk away and not knowing how long it was for and to know it was your doing.” If he wants to publish his own account, he should, she says: “I would be very okay with that.”

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