Photograph by Katherine Ellison

On this month’s edition of “On the Fly,” Guernica Editor-at-Large Mark Dowie interviews investigative reporter Katherine Ellison. In her new memoir, Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention, Ellison recounts her tumultuous relationship with her son, Buzz, after the two were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As Ellison investigates what genuine relief is available on the market, wading through the array of products sold by our modern pharmaceutical industry, the memoir incidentally became the fulcrum the two needed to deal with their mutual diagnosis—and make what felt out of control much more manageable.

Part One: Managing “the option storm”

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Part Two: How writing the memoir helped Ellison and her son

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Part Three: What happens to parents when a child is diagnosed with ADHD

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Mark Dowie

Mark Dowie is an investigative historian and the author of seven books, including Losing Ground: American Environmentalism at the Close of the Twentieth Century, American Foundations: An Investigative History, and, most recently, Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict between Global Conservation and Native Peoples. During his thirty-five years in journalism Dowie has won nineteen journalism awards, been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and contributed to the London Times, Harper's, The New York Times, The World Policy Journal, the Wall Street Journal, The Utne Reader, The Nation, Worth, Resurgence, Ms, the Los Angeles Times, Der Spiegel, and the Washington Post, among many others. He is a contributing editor of Orion magazine and former publisher and editor of Mother Jones magazine. He has taught science, environmental reporting, and foreign correspondence at The University of California Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Point Reyes Station, California

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