In the 1970s & 1980s–entertainment designed to reach teenagers (and cure them of society’s ills) fell to YA writers, TV Movies, and “After School Specials.” One of the most compelling stories was the subject of 1971’s Go Ask Alice.
Based supposedly on the true story of a teen girl who delved into drugs and ultimately lost her life, it was designed to scare the audience, and the 1973 film cemented its importance as a tool for communicating between generations.
Beatrice Sparks billed herself as an adolescent psychology expert with an uncanny ability to write stories based on true-life journals and in-person interview sessions (thousands, she claimed.) But how true were her supposed nonfiction works?
Trigger warnings: Addiction and discussion of suicide
Sources for this episode:
Beatrice Sparks Wikipedia
New York Times
Salt Lake City Weekly (1998)
Houston Public Media
Salt Lake City Tribune
Sydney Morning Herald
Rick Emerson: Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World’s Most Notorious Diaries”
The New Yorker