The Center for Fiction welcomed Laura Cathcart Robbins for the release of her memoir, Stash. The narrative follows Robbins after years of hiding her addiction from everyone as she faces divorce, the possibility of a grueling custody battle, and internalized racism. Robbins was joined in discussion by Emily McCombs and Jessica Hoppe, journalists whose work covers intersectional aspects of addiction and recovery. They engaged in a crucial conversation about what it means to be Black in a startlingly white world and the journey toward sobriety and love. Through the lens of Robbins’ vivid story, the panel explored the complexities of addiction, race, and class in contemporary America.
By Laura Cathcart Robbins
Published by Atria
After years of hiding her addiction from everyone—from stockpiling pills in her Louboutins to elaborately scheduling withdrawals between PTA meetings, baby showers, and tennis matches—Laura Cathcart Robbins settles into a complicated purgatory.
She learns the hard way that privilege doesn’t protect you from pain. Facing divorce, the possibility of a grueling custody battle, and internalized racism, Robbins wonders just how much more she can take.
Now, with courage and candid openness, she reveals how she managed to begin the long journey towards sobriety and unexpectedly finding new love. Robbins harrowingly illustrates taking down the wall she built around herself brick by brick and what it means to be Black in a startingly white world. With its raw, finely crafted, and engaging prose, Stash is the story of just how badly the facade she created had to shatter before Laura could reconnect to her true self.
Laura Cathcart Robbins
Laura Cathcart Robbins
Laura Cathcart Robbins is an author, freelance writer, speaker, and host of the popular podcast The Only One in the Room. She has been active for many years as a speaker and school trustee and is credited for creating The Buckley School’s nationally recognized committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. Her recent articles in HuffPost and The Temper on the subjects of race, recovery, and divorce have garnered her worldwide acclaim. She is a 2022 TEDx Speaker, and an LA Moth StorySlam winner. Currently, she sits on the advisory boards of the San Diego Writer’s Festival and the Outliers HQ Podcast Festival. She lives in California. Follow her on Instagram @LauraCathcartRobbins and find out more at TheOnlyOnePod.com.
Photo Credit: Cooper Urlich
Emily McCombs is the Deputy Editor of HuffPost Personal, where she writes and edits first-person essays. She also gives advice in a weekly column at Slate.
Jessica Hoppe is a Honduran Ecuadorian writer based in New York City. She has been featured on ABC News, HBOMax Pa’lante! and her work has appeared in the Latino Book Review, the New York Times, Vogue, GEN Mag, Paper Magazine, and elsewhere. Jessica is a board member of Time of Butterflies, a non-profit supporting families through domestic abuse recovery, and an advocate with Sad Girls Club, a digital mental health resource for BIPOC women and femmes. She is currently writing her debut memoir, First In the Family, which is forthcoming in 2024 from Flatiron.