Live Through This



A stunning book. I found myself dreaming conversations with some of the writers—engaging in the conversation they begin here.
—Dorothy Allison

This intimate book gives you all the tools for self-emergence.
—Janeane Garofalo


7Stories/Crude/HBIn a collection of original stories, essays, artwork, and photography, Nan Goldin, Eileen Myles, bell hooks, and other cutting-edge artists explore their use of art to survive madness, abuse, incest, depression, and the impulse toward self-destruction manifest in eating disorders, cutting, addiction, and contemplation of suicide. The book confronts the brutality many women and girls encounter in the world around them, and bravely takes as its subject the often misunderstood violence they at times inflict upon themselves.

The diverse array of contributors here—novelists, poets, cartoonists, dancers, photographers, playwrights, burlesque performers—traverse the pains and passions that can both motivate and destroy women artists and mark a path for survival. Together they show that creative women are not destined to the fate of lost visionaries such as Woolf, Sexton, Arbus, and Plath. Live Through This is a fearless exploration of women’s silent rage, the power that can come from internal struggle, and the possibility of transforming this burning force into fierce and enlightened work.


Introduction by Amanda Palmer

With contributions by Margaret Cho, Nan Goldin, bell hooks, Swoon, Patricia Smith, Cristy Road, Carol Queen, Annie Sprinkle, Elizabeth Stephens, Carolyn Gage, Eileen Myles, Fly, Diane DiMassa, Bonfire Madigan, Inga Muscio, Kate Bornstein, Toni Blackman, Nicole Blackman, Silas Howard, Daphne Gottlieb, and Stephanie Howell.

Praise for Live Through This

“The 16 essays and visuals that make up Live Through This plum the depths of out-of-control lives, examining how self-destruction functions as both a hindrance and a productive challenge. Unlike what Hollywood would like us to believe about them, the contributors – artists, writers, and musicians – are neither weak nor one-dimensional.”

“Live Through This…[enacts a] scarred and gorgeous community.”

“[Live Through This] posits a hopeful message: that while the quirks and sensitivities of a creative mind often seem predisposed to depression, they are also the exact qualities that provide a special set of tools with which to find a way through the darkest moments.”
BUST MAGAZINE by Emma Hamilton

“The 20 essayists, novelists, photographers, visual artists, cartoonists, musicians and burlesque performers of Live Through This testify to lives of survival – turning tears and tendencies toward mania, depression, and self-mutilation into powerful lessons.”
CURVE MAGAZINE by Tania Hammidi, October 2008

“Women’s and cultural studies students, take note.”
NOW TORONTO Review by Tara-Michelle Ziniuk

“Chicago’s own Sabrina Chapadjiev edits this raw collection of art, photography, essays and stories in which several female artists free their fiercest emotions. From experiences such as abuse, depression and other self-destructive habits come courageous revelations of truth.”

“We know the story of the brilliant woman who destroys herself. The woman artist who is… ‘controversial while alive but sanctified in death.’ In this powerful and unique collection edited by Sabrina Chapadjiev, we hear from nineteen writers, artists and thinkers who are alive and well – and indeed, often controversial…”
GO MAGAZINE Review by Joseph Keckler

“This powerful collection of voices provides new insight into the concept of self-destruction and, perhaps more importantly, offers hope to everyone who has felt these forces.”
AFTERELLEN.COM by Heather A O’Neill

“Sabrina Chapadjiev’s anthology, Live Through This: On Creativity and Self Destruction, strikes me in all ways as a carefully crafted object—which so few books are these days.”
FEMINISTING.COM review by-Courtney Martin, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters

“Captivating, concise, and humbling, Live Through This is easy to put down between pieces and become just as immersed upon picking it up again.”

“A kinda groundbreaking book… an interesting read… brings sexuality into the larger context of mental health, general well being and happiness in life.”

“Many speak of making art as a way to inscribe their pain on something other than their bodies; art becomes solace, coping mechanism and path to redemption… inspiration, ultimately, is what this visceral book is about.”
BAY WINDOWS review by Brian Jewell

Live Through This is a collection of 19 essays by women artists who have walked across the hot coals of their own self-destructiveness. They are confessionals, cautionary tales, but mostly, I think, they are messages of sisterhood to those of us out there who struggle.”
NEOVOX Review by Lorraine Berry

“The book is wonderful… I read it huddled in the corner of the subway, the book’s blood red cover wrapped in a brown paper bag, eyes shifting from passenger to passenger, looking for the too-thin girl who knew…”
FICTION CIRCUS Review by S. Future

“No longer is the tragic muse relegated to writing Plath-esque poetry. These artists each challenge the notion of what it means to be consumed by madness and the ideal of what society expects of them.”
LITERARY CULTURE review by Lisa Rufle

“[Live Through This] shows readers what happens when pain can’t be verbalized.”
LEDGER-ENQUIRER.COM Review by Sonya Sorich

Live Through This: On Creativity and Self-Destruction, a collection of essays by talented badasses, punks and radicals like Nan Goldin, Kate Bornstein, Carol Queen, Eileen Myles and bell hooks, takes up the powerful, complicated question of the connections and correlations between art-making, femaleness and personal darkness.”
BOOKSLUT review by Elizabeth Bachner