You may recall Clancy Martin as the former Fort Worth jeweler and UT-Austin grad whose dark, funny noir-ish debut novel, How to Sell, was something of a tell-all of the tricks of the trade when it comes to selling high-end jewelry while strung out on meth and coke. Martin also wrote about the very interesting practices in the international jewerly-and-Rolex watch business for Harper’s back in May.
In the January issue of Harper’s (subs. req.), we learn just how accurate a self-portrait How to Sell‘s narrator was when it came to his anything-that’ll-get-me-high substance abuse. “The Drunk’s Club” is Martin’s cover-story memoir of alcoholism and A.A. (“Like some people grow up Southern Baptist or Orthodox Jew, I was raised Alcoholics Anonymous. When I was four years old my mother left my father for my father’s A.A. sponsor”). But it’s much more than another recovery tale, like Mary Karr’s Lit. Martin — nowadays, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Missouri — takes on the history and fundamental tenets of A.A., his own suicide attempts. some of the literature of drinking (William Styron’s Darkness Visible) — and how psychiatry, pharmaceuticals and storytelling have helped him.