Woman of Substances was published by Black Inc on May 31, 2017. ORDER HERE.
A journey into addiction and treatment
Journalist Jenny Valentish investigates the female experience of drugs and alcohol, using her own story to light the way. Her travels around Australia take her to treatment facilities and AA groups. Mining the expertise of leading researchers, she explores the early predictors of addiction, such as childhood trauma and temperament, and teenage impulsivity. Drawing on neuroscience, she explains why other self-destructive behaviours – such as eating disorders, compulsive buying and high-risk sex – are interchangeable with problematic substance use. Valentish follows the pathways that women, in particular, take into addiction – and out again. Woman of Substances is an insightful, rigorous and brutally honest read.
Valentish has discussed Woman of Substances on countless radio shows, including the ABC’s Conversation Hour with Richard Fidler, Big Ideas and Life Matters; and appeared on television program The Drum. She has spoken at the Sydney Writers Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival, Adelaide Writers Festival, Bendigo Writers Festival and Newcastle Writers Festival, as well as the Belvoir Theatre and The Wheeler Centre.
Woman of Substances was rewritten for the UK, to include information relevant to local policy and drug consumption trends. Upon its publication in the UK, Marie Claire made it the subject of a two-page feature and author Roddy Doyle (The Woman Who Walked into Doors) called it “a startling and illuminating book – it’s also highly entertaining”. It also received coverage in The Pool, Huffington Post, Refinery 29, The Independent and Metro.
Valentish is a board member of SMART Recovery Australia, a consultant for the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, and an ambassador for BrainPark, a project of Monash University’s Brain and Mental Health Laboratory. She has written about drug and alcohol issues for The Age, The Monthly and The Saturday Paper, and is a core member of AOD Media Watch, dedicated to critiquing salacious, inaccurate and stigmatising media stories about substance use. Woman of Substances was nominated for a Walkley Book Award.
Prior to Woman of Substances, Valentish has edited Triple J’s magazine, Jmag, and launched the Melbourne edition of Time Out, editing it for four years. She has had two books published prior to Woman of Substances: the novel Cherry Bomb and the anthology Your Mother Would Be Proud (both Allen and Unwin).
For Jenny Valentish's personal website, with journalism, details of novel Cherry Bomb and full bio, click HERE.