Margaret Robison sits in her home in Shelburne Falls, Mass.
Running With Scissors is the hugely popular memoir by Augusten Burroughs. It is the tale of his life and his mother, who, he writes, gave him away to her psychiatrist at a young age. The tale is brutal. His mother comes across as a self-absorbed, heartless monster. The movie version is coming out on October 20. But there’s another side to the story. NPR's Joe Shapiro and producer Tracey Wahl tracked down Augusten's mother, Margaret Robison and have prepared a startling profile of her that will air on All Things Considered this Sunday. Definitely worth a listen. I'll just share one bit from the piece:
Shapiro: Running With Scissors is one of the best-selling memoirs of all time. On NPR's Morning Edition four years ago, Augusten Burroughs read from it:
Burroughs: My mother began to go crazy. Not crazy in a "Let's paint the kitchen bright red" sort of way, but crazy in a gas oven, toothpaste sandwich, "I am God" sort of way.
Shapiro: This is the man Margaret Robison calls Chris. That's the name she gave her son at birth. He was 19 when he started calling himself Augusten Burroughs. Before he moved to California to work as an advertising copywriter. Before his famous memoir.
Robison: First of all, Chris is Chris to me. Augusten Burroughs is a fiction to me. I know a little bit about Augusten Burroughs. I met him in San Francisco. When Chris called me and asked me to come. And he was lost, he said. I met Augusten Burroughs there. But Augusten Burroughs and Chris are not quite the same.