Author of “Beautiful Boy” to speak at UA

By Sofia Syed, Arts & Life Editor

Addiction is an ongoing tragedy throughout the world; it can shake up someone’s life and take a toll on family and friends.

David Sheff, author of “Beautiful Boy,” has first hand experience with seeing someone he loves transform into an addict.

Sheff’s son, Nick, struggled with a crystal meth addiction.  

Nick Sheff went from a varsity honors student to someone who lied, stole and lived on the streets. David Sheff developed obsessive tendencies trying to help his son.

Beautiful Boy is a memoir that shares Sheff’s emotional rollercoaster dealing with his son’s addiction. It was selected as this year’s common reading book for incoming UA students.

As a part of Common Reading Program Week, Sheff will speak at E.J. Thomas Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 13. at 7:30 p.m.

This first annual lecture, titled  “Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy,” is free to UA students and faculty.

Beautiful Boy is based on Sheff’s published article in The New York Times called “My Addicted Son.”

The article won an award from the American Psychological Association for “Outstanding Contribution to Understanding of Addiction.”

In the New York Times article, Sheff said, “Through Nick’s drug addiction, I learned that parents can bear almost anything.”

Beautiful Boy was named the best nonfiction book by Entertainment Weekly and won first place in the Barnes and Noble Discover Award in nonfiction.

Common Reading books are chosen by the Common Reading Committee, which is composed of faculty and staff. Their goal is to find a book that will interest a variety of students and the chosen book is then infused into general education courses for the freshmen students.

Tickets to this event are free, and can be picked up from the Akron Civic Theatre with a valid Zip Card. Two hours prior to the show, tickets can be picked up from the E.J. Thomas box office.

As a part of the Common Reading Program Week, there will be a discussion panel featuring Oriana House Recovery Coaches, titled “Recovery – You Can Go Home Again” on Oct. 15 in the Student Union Room 335 at 2:30 p.m.

This panel will share stories of addiction and recovery. The audience can then ask questions and learn about the affect addiction has on self, family, and friends.

For more information about Common Reading, visit,