Augusten Burroughs was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in Western Massachusetts. He is an autodidact with no formal education beyond elementary school. He began working as an advertising copywriter in San Francisco as a teenager and spent 18 years creating global ad campaigns for some of the most iconic brands in the world, from American Express to United Parcel Service.
But Augusten was also an alcoholic. And only after he finally became sober did he begin to look inward and document what he saw on the page in the form of a journal.
Once Augusten began writing he never stopped -and he never drank again. His first book, the novel Sellevision, was published in 2000. His second book, the memoir Running with Scissors was published in 2002 and became a publishing phenomenon, spending three years on The New York Times bestseller list. Every book he's written since also been a New York Times bestseller.
In 2013 Augusten was honored to accept a Doctor of Letters from the Savannah College of Art & Design in Atlanta, Georgia, where he has had the privilege of teaching several workshops.
Augusten's unusual sensitivities and abilities were recognized early in his childhood by his mother, a witch who came from a long line of witches. She instructed him daily in the art and science of The Craft but she also instilled in him the belief that witchcraft was something misunderstood by the general public and therefore something never to be spoken of.
Always excellent at keeping secrets, Augusten never spoke about this side of himself. Not even to his husband.
For two years Augusten worked on a novel but was unhappy with his progress. When their Great Dane, Otis, had tendon surgery and was confined to a makeshift "bedroom" on a mattress behind the sofa, Augusten spent all day making sure Otis remained motionless. And he began writing about the one "off limits" aspect of his life he had believed he would never write one word about; he began writing about his life as a witch.
The result, Toil & Trouble, will be released on October 1, 2019.
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