TCR Talks with Kristi Coulter

BY CHARLI ENGELHORN

Alcohol is the drug of choice for many people, and the war on drugs tends to kindly turn a blind eye to the copious amounts of alcohol consumed daily and advertisements that glorify social drinking. Yet, millions of Americans are living with alcoholism, and thousands die alcohol-related deaths each year. In her debut collection of essays, Nothing Good Can Come from This, writer Kristi Coulter tackles the prevalence of alcohol in society and the motivations behind the desire to overconsume. Through her personal narrative of drinking and sobriety, Coulter examines the reasons why women drink, the effects of drinking on her life, and the long road to self-discovery and strength as a sober person.

The author spoke with contributing writer Charli Engelhorn about the inception of this book and the value of discussing the role alcohol plays in our lives.

Book Review: Kristi Coulter’s “Nothing Good Can Come From This”

By Charli Engelhorn

If there was a warning label on the cover of Kristi Coulter’s debut book of essays, Nothing Good Can Come from This, it might read, “This book will cause you to interrogate your life, habits, and doctrines and challenge any previous assessments made about your relationship with alcohol.” That is not to say Coulter’s essays presume to convince the reader of a closeted drinking problem; rather, her heart-rendering prose ladled with sardonic wit create a rumination on the mundane persistence of time, the dichotomy of who we are and who we pretend to be, and the nature of society and compromises required therein, which, if one is not careful, can accumulate into addiction. With a quick and often dark cadence, Coulter weaves her essays to create a remarkable story about the unremarkableness of her journey to sobriety, not in the feat itself, but in the banal scenarios that led to her drinking and decision to stop. There is no melodrama infused in the stories of her alcoholism or sobriety, no sensationalism about addiction, no wringing hands or desperate pleas to the gods. As Coulter explains, after years of massages, yoga, therapists, and other attempts to trick her into wanting to quit, she woke up one day and realized, “what I wanted was no longer important. I would just have to wait and hope that eventually I would want something else.”