Augusten Burroughs was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1965. At the age of 18, he chose the name Augusten X. Burroughs and legalized it in a Boston courtroom. He was raised in Western Massachusetts, after his mother had abandoned him to live with her psychiatrist. Burroughs dropped out of school at 13, his mother and her shrink helping him fake a suicide attempt, got his GED at 17 and then flunked out of community college. Burroughs survived a harrowing childhood, but used it and the strength he gained from surviving to springboard his literary career. He has been a dog trainer, candy store clerk, waiter, sail cutter, store detective and, from the age of 19, an advertising copywriter. Burroughs lived in San Francisco for five years, then moved to New York in the early 1990s. Burroughs writes memoirs as well as a sex column in DETAILS magazine, the occasional commentary for NPR, articles for New York Magazine, and essays for salon.com, Borders and Booksense.