Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on the Drug Experience, Edited by Cynthia Palmer and Michael Horowitz
Women have been experimenting with drugs since prehistoric times, and yet published accounts of their views on the drug experience have been relegated to either antiseptic sociological studies or sensationalized stories splashed across the tabloids.
The media has given us an enduring, but inaccurate, stereotype of a female drug user: passive, addicted, exploited, degraded, promiscuous. But the selections in this anthology - penned by such famous names as Billie Holiday, Anais Nin, Maya Angelou, and Carrie Fisher - show us that the real experiences of women are anything but stereotypical.
Sisters of the Extreme provides us with writings by women from diverse occupations and backgrounds, from prostitute to physician, who through their use of drugs dared cross the boundaries set by society - often doing so with the hope of expanding themselves and their vision of the world.
Whether with LSD, peyote, cocaine, heroine, MDMA, or marijuana, these women have sought to reach, through their experimentation, other levels of consciousness. Sometimes their quests have brought unexpected rewards, other times great suffering and misfortune. But wherever their trips have left them, these women have lived courageously - if sometimes dangerously - and written about their journeys eloquently.