Ann Marlowe

Ann Marlowe is the author of the acclaimed memoir How to Stop Time: Heroin from A to Z. Her work appears regularly in Salon, the Village Voice, National Review Online, LA Weekly, and other publications. She lives in New York. Visit her website here.



A sexy, intimate and fearless account of a shattering love affair between a charistmatic Afghan man and a Jewish American writer infatuated with his culture, The Book of Trouble is also a provocative and original exploration of the so-called “clash of civilizations.” Marlowe’s vivid, gritty evocation of daily life in Afghanistan brings to life a luminous place she thinks of as “the morning of the world”. She finds a similar re-discovery of feeling when she is in bed with Amir, “the gift of loving someone, which is incalculable”–but also, ultimately, a “terrible gap between hearts.”

Marlowe finds complexity and beauty in Afghanistan, not the caricature of evil men and oppressed women. In fact, she found much that Americans can learn from in the warmth, tenderness and respect of Afghan family life and marriage. As Marlowe travels from Mazar-i-Sherif to her sophisticated, cynical New York world and then to Baghdad in the aftermath of the American invasion, she makes perhaps her most provocative claim: that we Americans, for all our self-help books, have forgotten how to take love and sex seriously.

“Ann Marlowe has a sense of adventure, style and a startling intelligence that makes The Book of Trouble a must-read. Whether she’s writing about Iraq, Afghanistan, or the West Village, and whether you agree with her conclusions or not, her opinions are always fresh, nuanced, and thoroughly her own."—Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

"You won''t soon forget The Book of Trouble. Ann Marlowe tells a crushing love story, and somehow also manages to weave in exotic tales of travel and fascinating tangents about everything from cousin marriage to fake Arabic."—James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard

A detailed and inspiring portrait of family life in [Afghanistan] . . . Throughout, [Marlowe''s] intellectual intensity and unusual emotional wiring combine to generate pretty interesting positions.Los Angeles Times

"The Book of Trouble is about a difficult love affair across an age and cultural divide, but it transcends its circumstances to become an eloquent meditation on marriage, freedom, religion andgender. Ann Marlowe feels a lot, but her feelings are always nuanced and contradictory; her book is an unusually rich reading of her emotional and intellectual conflicts"—Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story

Rights: Harcourt, North America; Byblos, Holland; Aletheia, Portugal



In this hypnotic and piercingly intelligent chronicle, Ann Marlowe dissects her former heroin habit, and recounts in harrowing detail the rigors and realities of life under the influence while building a successful Wall Street career and establishing a reputation as a critic in the alternative press. A one-time Harvard grad student in philosophy, Marlowe ruthlessly examines the paradoxical nature of addiction, and connects her own experience to a wider discussion of heroin in the context of our post-consumer, digital society.

"A very impressive book, all the more so because of its remarkable calm and restraint after such a terrifying experience."—Penelope Fitzgearld

"Ann Marlowe is a. . .relentless moral essayist and a secret poet. Her book burns as it goes down one's craw, and it keeps burning in memory."—Luc Sante

"A self-portrait of a coolly cantankerous woman, reformed but unrepentant."The New York Times

"The little black dress of dope books. Smart, sleek and savagely subtle, Ms. Marlowe is the most gifted druggie to pop out of Harvard since the late Timothy Leary."—Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight

"A self-portrait of a coolly cantankerous woman, reformed but unrepentant."The New York Times

Rights: Basic Books, North America; Virago, U.K.; Auf Bau, Germany; Anagrama, Spain; Film rights optioned by director Robert Berlinger