Claire Rudy Foster grew up closeted at home and bullied at school. Alcohol was his way of releasing his anger. Claire also wanted to become a famous writer, and getting drunk and loaded on heroin were all part of the romantic artistic persona.
The problem was that he was always too high or hungover to ever write anything.
In 2007, Claire found recovery and discovered that getting clean didn’t mean all his problems would go away. Misery was the true gateway drug, and Claire had to make peace with his anger and his identity before he could be sober and happy.
Today, Claire has proved that a writer doesn’t need alcohol or drugs to be a brilliant creative. He’s become a lauded published author who also co-wrote American Fix with Ryan Hampton from Mobilize Recovery. And this is just the beginning.
Listen to this powerful story of gender identity, freedom from addiction, and living a life true to yourself!
Misery is the gateway drug.–Claire Rudy Foster
Claire Rudy Foster
Claire Rudy Foster is a queer, nonbinary trans writer who lives in Portland, Oregon. Foster writes fiction, nonfiction, personal essays, articles, reported news stories, interviews, book reviews, cultural commentary, full-length books, screenplays, TV and film treatments, speeches, editorials, blog content, and letters. They also work as a ghostwriter.
Foster is the author of short story collections Shine of the Ever (Interlude Press, 2019) and I’ve Never Done This Before (Klen+Sobr, 2016). More writing also appears in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Rumpus, McSweeney’s, and many other journals. Their work has been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize four times, as well as several small press awards for excellence, including a Speculative Literature Foundation’s Working Class Writer Grant, an NLA-International Nonfiction Writing Award, and an SFWA Writing Award.
Foster has been in recovery from alcoholism and addiction since 2007. They co-authored American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis and How to End It (St. Martin’s Press, 2018) with activist Ryan Hampton. Foster’s contributions to the recovery movement include speeches, letters, and articles supporting equal rights for people with substance use disorder. Their work can be found in the Library of Congress and has been read on the floor of the Senate. Foster developed, wrote, and hosted two seasons of a leading recovery podcast called “Addiction Unscripted,” described as “This American Life” for people with substance use disorder. Their writing about recovery frequently goes viral in The Huffington Post and elsewhere.
They are a graduate of Reed College and also hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University, where they studied with Jack Driscoll, Pam Houston, Benjamin Percy, Claire Davis, and Kellie Wells.
Shine on the Ever
By turns tender and punk-tough, Shine of the Ever is a literary mixtape of queer voices out of grunge-era Portland. Claire Rudy Foster’s linked short stories are moving, powerful, and heartfelt.
“‘[W]e are a mass of bliss and fury and love and pain and truth and sound,’ Foster writes in the first story of this polychromatic collection of short fiction set in and around Portland. Queue up your Sleater-Kinney records.”
—O: The Oprah Magazine
Shine of the Ever is receiving stellar praise, with Pete Rock, Benjamin Percy, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Foreword Reviews singing its praises. This collection of short stories from Interlude Press explores what binds a community of queer and trans people as they negotiate love, screwing up, and learning to forgive themselves for being young and, sometimes, foolish.
“Shine of the Ever is a compassionate ode to a Pixies-infused era. With its mix of fear and fearlessness, it deftly portrays love on the fringes.”
Upcoming Live Readings
Mobilize Recovery with Ryan Hampton