Comedian Harris Wittels, the author’s younger brother, was only 30 years old when he tragically succumbed to his battle with opioid addiction. In this harrowing, heartbreaking, and cathartic memoir, Wachs recounts the ways her little brother lit up the world. Written as a love letter, or a eulogy for Harris himself to hear, the book alternates between the periods immediately before and after his horrific overdose in 2015. Wachs was a newlywed then, raising a two-year-old and teaching theatre at the high school she and her brother had both attended. Wachs examines how Harris unraveled just as she was coming into her own, and meditates on the difficulty of helping a highly functioning addict: Harris’ dependency on painkillers and later heroin coincided with his major career success as an executive producer on Parks and Recreation. Harris was beloved by peers and audiences alike as his family prayed for his survival. Exploring her brother’s untimely death while continuing his legacy, Wachs writes with immense love, humor, and humanity. The title references a famous Harris Wittels witticism: one that fits the excruciating reality of loving an addict. Everything about this book is horrible, wonderful, timely, and not to be missed.
More praise for Everything is Horrible and Wonderful:
"Unsentimental and at times even funny, Everything is Horrible and Wonderful is Wachs' journey to make sense of the senseless, to move from grief to hope, and to let humor light the way." — Bustle
"Beautiful, funny, and epically poignant." — Sarah Silverman
"Incredible." — Aziz Ansari