In her home in the quiet town of Ketchum, a “stone’s throw” away from the infamous house where Hemingway took his own life, Eileen Shields considers the complex interplay of masculinity, guns, and suicide....more
Posts Tagged: suicide
I didn’t really understand emotionally that there are people around who didn’t have enough to eat, who weren’t warm enough, who didn’t have a place to live, whose parents beat the hell out of them regularly. The sadness isn’t in seeing it, the sadness is in realizing how phenomenally lucky I am, not only to have never been hungry or cold, but to be educated, to have access to books.
Twenty-one years ago, a week before Thanksgiving, you were admitted to Dorothea Dix State Psychiatric Hospital in Raleigh, NC....more
In the course of writing a story about a golf club, a Grantland journalist named Caleb Hannan discovered that the club’s inventor was a transgender woman. She ended up committing suicide, which, though he doesn’t seem to realize it’s a possibility, could very well be the result of his outing her....more
My daughter likes to bang her head off the floor. It makes a point—an especially guilt-tinged one, given that we had to get rid of our carpets due to a mold infestation, so now there’s no cushion between baby cranium and wood....more
Last November, journalist Leonora LaPeter Anton profiled a woman named Gretchen Molannen, who had been living for years with an almost unbearable chronic illness: persistent genital arousal disorder.
The day after the piece was published, Anton was notified that Molannen had committed suicide....more
Why did my mother kill herself and I didn’t that year and have not?…I ask myself at the farmer’s market when David shows me the black radishes that I use in risotto or when Sarah takes me to the ranch and the horses press in on me so I’m nothing but warmth and breath and their snot on my hair. Is it this?
We both pretended to ignore the brown bag inserted into the plastic grocery bags. We ignored my role as witness to this process....more
Five years ago today, groundbreaking writer David Foster Wallace took his own life.
Maria Popova at Brain Pickings remembers him with a post excerpting Conversations with David Foster Wallace, a “collection of 22 interviews and profiles of the beloved author.” A preview:
Really good work probably comes out of a willingness to disclose yourself, open yourself up in spiritual and emotional ways that risk making you look banal or melodramatic or naive or unhip or sappy, and to ask the reader really to feel something.
“The Golden Gate Bridge was born a metaphor….The span would connect San Francisco with Marin County, engineering with nature, and the past with the future”—and, for a queasily high number of people, life with death.
For Guernica, Candace Opper looks at the history of the legendary bridge’s suicidal jumpers, including interviews with the people who, against all odds, survived the fall....more
A dozen Decembers ago, my brother was found in his Bronco, burnt to shit. He had been out drinking with strangers—at least, that’s what the detective told us. The last words we know he said were, “Good night, new friends.”...more
“You are the closest thing I have to a mother,” she said. My mother said this to me, her oldest daughter,
me, the only one of her four children unlikely to give her grandchildren. I am forty. I am single. I never wanted to be anyone’s mother.
Edouard Levé’s Suicide, a slim, declarative, idea-driven novel, is daring and raw, and packed full of rewards for any reader willing to take a wide step outside of the American mainstream....more
This is the truth.
Around noon I gulped a shot of tequila and then placed a chair in my closet, sat down, shut the door and put my .22 rifle in my mouth. It didn’t fit well. The scope got in the way of positioning the barrel for a shot through my brain....more
Reflecting, reminiscing, wondering, asking.
Jimmy Chen’s beautifully personal essay on HTML Giant, “Notes Toward a Suicide Letter”, explores suicide from multiple standpoints. Whether writing about a loved one or Kurt Cobain or Ernest Hemingway, Chen finds a way to express the infallibility of the darkest, yet most human, feelings and thoughts....more
Meet Chen Sah, “an odd and unlikely angel” who does his best to deter those attempting to throw themselves off the Yangtze River Bridge in Nanjing, China.
“In every story of obsession there is only one character. I am writing about myself alone… for this reason I have always failed in every love, which is to say at the very heart of my life.”...more
Among the many places I was forbidden to go as a youth, was through the pages of a book that didn’t even exist in our bookshelves....more
In Please Come Back to Me, Jessica Treadway examines the ambiguities of the human heart, sometimes answering life’s dilemma’s too elegantly....more
A Rumpus Meditation on Editors, Ambition, and Angry Dependence (in 33 loosely jointed parts):
1. On July 30, the managing editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, Kevin Morrissey, took his life. His note stated that he “just couldn’t bear it anymore.”...more
What do nuclear waste, suicide, and Las Vegas have in common? John D’Agata searches for meaning in the heart of Yucca Mountain...more
In this debut novel, an American woman running from personal tragedy falls headlong into the confusions and solaces of Japanese culture....more
A first novel by playwright Jillian Weise tackles the moral and ethical questions surrounding both medical research and human relationships....more
“Sometimes it seems as though poets, in particular, move in an endangered artistic world. Think Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Anne Sexton. And, last month, Rachel Wetzsteon, an accomplished poet who took her own life at age 42.”...more
In 1996, Phillip Connors’ brother unexpectedly committed suicide. Now, over a decade later, Connors is getting closure through the completion of a 22,000 word account of his family’s experiences called “So Little to Remember”.
The piece, which tackles more than his family’s reactions to the suicide, began as a “thought experiment” put together by Connors to identify patterns in his brother’s life leading up to his unexpected death. “So Little to Remember” also reminds us of the important differences between life and writing about life, as the author explains in his note to Maud Newton. Ultimately, Connors feels his piece is independent from the events it is based on; a method of “letting go by making stories.”...more