New Podcast: The Author Robyn Flemming on Alcohol, Art & other Addictions

We have a new Podcast – Robyn Flemming discusses with Michael Backman her new book Skinful: A Memoir of Addiction which details her battles with addictive behaviour including her problematic relationship with alcohol. Originally from Australia, Robyn also discusses her life as a modern-day international nomad, having no specific base in any particular country.

Robyn Flemming, who as a professional editor, has edited several of my books, has now demonstrated what I’ve long suspected – she is a splendid writer herself. Skinful is a fantastic read! Not a sentence is wasted. Robyn uses words like ice picks, chiselling away to build the remarkable story of her life.

Robyn travels ceaselessly (she and me are pictured below in Budapest several years ago), so the narrative doubles as an evocative travelogue, but the main theme is the her struggle with alcohol, or more particularly her struggle with the shame of her addiction and the lengths she went to to hide it from others. Her humility and her self-awareness are endearing, as is her quiet wisdom.



It’s a book to which those struggling with addiction will relate, perhaps with unnerving familiarity. But the book is just as relevant for those who do not drink in a problematic way and are unlikely to, because it explains how those who do can slide into such addiction. It explains how those with an alcohol problem do not necessarily descend into utter collapse and can maintain a facade that all is well. So in this regard, the book is many things and will have many audiences, but above all what it is, is an exquisitely well-written page turner. 


Robyn, Michael with the book Skinful.

Robyn & Michael several years ago in Budapest.

Listen to the Podcast here.

Skinful: A Memoir of Addiction is available worldwide from Amazon and can be ordered from any bookshop.

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© Michael Backman