From the May 1972 magazine.

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

Book Review - 'Take My Waking Slow'

It is generally conceded that the active alcoholic affects disastrously the lives of a number of innocent people. Here is a poignant novel about a little boy named Richie, whose father's alcoholism dramatically illustrates the statistics. Reading it is a memorable experience. Take My Waking Slow, by Gunilla B. Norris, is a prose poem remarkable for its perception, its sensitivity, and its empathy. It is a small treasure that can be read again and again as one reads poetry, to experience each time at the end the catharsis which marks true tragedy.

"Somehow Pa trapped them in his dreaming," Mrs. Norris writes of the alcoholic and his family. "Everything would be just fine. Only it didn't turn out just that way. It had been like going after a high ball in the outfield. Something sure and easy. You chased out there--hands outstretched only to find your fist closing on the air and your own sweat. . . .Ma was hoping again. Ma who was a scrapper, fierce and tough. Ma was running to the outfield, reaching for the promised land. . . .It would end with Pa on the bottle drinking himself blind under the stairs somewhere. . . .And finally Richie just froze up. Except sometimes dreams snuck up on him--dreams of being his own, making things happen, going someplace."

-- M. E. S.

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