Welcome to This Week in Books, where we highlight books just released by small and independent presses. Books have always been a symbol for and means of spreading knowledge and wisdom, and they are an important part of our toolkit in fighting for social justice....more
Posts Tagged: mental illness
What would you give to be happy, fun, anxiety-free? Would you give your soul? This is the question Deirdre Coyle asks in her story “Fun Person,” up at Hobart this week. The story opens with the narrator vomiting on the sidewalk outside of a bar, but not for the obvious reasons one might vomit in such a location....more
Though it’s clichéd and maladaptive to cast mental illness as the wellspring of great writing, to write about one’s life honestly often means writing about one’s mental illness. In an essay for Catapult, Colin Dickey writes lushly about his experiences with depression, musing on the historical conceptions of melancholy and how perhaps our highly clinical and problematized category of depression could afford to be complicated by it:
What I called my depression is the feeling one gets as the world shades away, as though a silent wall of water is holding everything else at a remove.
Treatment sometimes looks like hospitalization in an overcrowded psych ward and medication that can dissolve personality.
Over at American Short Fiction, Jenna Kahn writes about the depiction of mental illness in literature—as found particularly in “The Depressed Person” by David Foster Wallace, “Silver Water” by Amy Bloom, and “Monument” by Kevin Barry—as it matches (or doesn’t) with her own experience....more
Rion Amilcar Scott’s debut collection Insurrections—our July Rumpus Book Club pick—comes out from University Press of Kentucky on Tuesday and is a timely and vital look into the daily struggles of individuals in the mostly black community of Cross River, Maryland, a fictional town that was founded by slaves in 1807 after a successful revolt....more
In her essay at Hazlitt, “Watch Me Bathe,” Jess Carroll shares that she barely bathes, and tells us that it’s for the better—in fact, it’s like reverse self-love and self-care, as we’ve come to think of those terms now. She rejects the idea that mental health is balanced on a teetering tower of meticulous hygiene routines, and that the only way to stay sane is to wash, rinse, and repeat as if unconcerned with anything else....more
The idea that “mental illness is the heart of creativity” has persisted for decades. But this idea can negatively impact one’s ability to seek help that they truly need. At The Establishment, Sarah Bronson debunks the notion that treating mental illnesses like depression unilaterally has a negative impact on one’s ability to create:
I recognize that not all mental illnesses are alike and that some people actually appreciate how their illness uniquely empowers them.