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Is addiction a disease, a sin, a sign of hypersensitivity, a personal failing, or a unique resource for the creative mind? However it is defined, addiction can have devastating consequences, often shattering lives, sundering families, causing impoverishment, and even triggering suicide. Yet it can also be a source of inspiration. In these frank essays, leading American and Canadian writers explore their surprisingly diverse personal experiences with this complex phenomenon, candidly recounting what happened when alcohol, heroin, smoking, food, gambling, or sex -- sometimes in combination -- took over their lives.