Opium Eater

image of cover_opium eater

“An estimated 200,000 Canadians are addicted to legal opioid painkillers. Part memoir, part sociological study, Zwarenstein’s personal, easily digestible update to Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions takes us behind the headlines of overdose deaths to the myriad causes, which call for real political leadership. Urgent reading for an increasingly critical situation.”
– The Globe and Mail, 100 Best Books of 2016 

“This book is so satisfying that at a slim 117 pages, you’ll be left wanting even more.” – Lauren Kirshner, Room Magazine

A distinctly different, ambiguous riff on the issue of prescription painkillers in the New Age of Opium, Opium Eater: The New Confessions was shortlisted for the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada book award for 2016. A “sensuous and compelling” (Room Magazine) and “measured” (The Globe & Mail) meditation on pain, creativity and opioid analgesics, Opium Eater is a visceral and darkly funny memoir inspired in both name and spirit by Thomas De Quincey’s Romantic-era classic of addiction literature, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.

Media & reviews

Opium Eater: The New Confessions (Nonvella, 2016) is available from Amazon.ca in Canada, and worldwide at  Amazon.com; from Chapters Indigo across Canada, and in select independent bookstores. You can also purchase copies directly from the author at bleedingheartcommunications@gmail.com. The book has been taught on graduate and undergraduate university courses since 2017.