Praise for Codependence: Essays

(Cleveland State University Poetry Center, September 2019)

Amy Long has woven the complex threads of need, love, pain, and attachment into a stunningly beautiful and gripping collection. This is a necessary and resonant book, finely wrought and boldly presented.

Sonya Huber, author of Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System

Against all the easy recovery narratives, against all the Opioid Crisis Hand-Wringing, stands this heart-stopping book–ferociously written, powerfully felt, absolutely persuasive in its extraordinary nakedness, bravery, and gallows humor. Brilliant.

David Shields, author of Reality Hunger and The Trouble with Men


Amy Long
‘s first book, Codependence, is forthcoming from Cleveland State University Poetry Center in September 2019; the manuscript won CSUPC’s 2018 Essay Collection Contest, judged by Brian Blanchfield. Her writing has appeared in the Best American Experimental Writing 2015 anthology, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere, including as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2018.

She earned her M.F.A. from Virginia Tech’s Creative Writing Program in 2016 and holds a Master’s in Women’s Studies (2008) and a B.A. in English and Women’s Studies (2006) from the University of Florida. Between her M.A. and M.F.A., Amy worked for drug policy reform and free-speech advocacy groups in Santa Cruz, CA; Washington, D.C.; and New York City and as a bookseller at Bookpeople in Austin, TX. She now teaches English Composition at Northwest Florida State College and is a contributing editor to the drug-history blog Points, where she runs the Fiction Points interview series, recruits guests  and guest bloggers, and (rarelyblogs.

More praise for Codependence

This is a big-hearted, big-brained book: half-Borges, half-Lispector, Long leads her readers into emotional investigations, and she has the courage to never flinch.

Joshua Mohr, author of Sirens and All This Life

The electric prose in this gutsy memoir of opioid addiction and pain management is not written from the vantage of one who has prevailed over her predicament. Nor, as Long persuasively demonstrates, is there necessarily a triumphant position to which to aspire […] The art of the essay […] benefits from her decisions on every page. Long presents a narrator as self-excusing, furtive, and volatile as she is candid, searching, and bracingly expert in our country’s labyrinthine relief industry and the hurt of protracted hope. Codependence gives you the key and invites you to inspect the parameters of Purgatory.

Brian Blanchfield, author of Proxies: Essays Near Knowing

Vividly drawn, disarmingly forthright, and darkly seductive, Amy Long’s Codependence redefines what it means to take drugs, fall in love, and belong to a family. Exhibiting a mastery of narrative form and structure while documenting one woman’s attempt to articulate her pain—as well as the lengths she will go to eradicate it—this book represents a stunning and singular debut.

Matthew Vollmer, author of Permanent Exhibit and Gateway to Paradise