All posts tagged: mental health awareness

Musings & Meanderings: Leslie Kirk Campbell talks about her debut collection in our ‘4 Questions’ chat; hint: memory, time, bodies. Plus, how to pick your creative project, mental health awareness, where to submit, links to interviews with Maud Newton, Kim Adrian, and new CNF

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ a mini-author interview, reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! Folks always wonder how to know if they’re making the right choice creatively when there are so many possibilities. I get it. There are a million ways a project could go, a million first lines, each offer a unique structure, too. We must move past indecision and lean into our work. Choose your project. Choose your ideas. Chose your sentences. Choose your ending. It’s not easy. Did anyone say it would be easy? They were wrong. How’s it going? Respond here in a comment, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. xx, ~Leslie : ) There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling! What I’m Distracted By This really resonated… “[My wife] was a teaching assistant for kids with disabilities and they had put a butterfly sanctuary in their classroom. … She said that in order for the butterflies to learn how to fly they …

Can Trauma be inherited? What’s it like to be on the therapy couch, a fly-on-the-wall? Leslie Lindsay and Dr. Galit Atlas in Conversation about EMOTIONAL INHERITANCE

By Leslie Lindsay I was so swept away with this wise and moving book, EMOTIONAL INHERITANCE: A Therapist, her Patients, and the Legacy of Trauma (Little, Brown Spark, January 2022). Come on over, eavesdrop on our conversation. This interview originally appeared in Hippocampus Magazine February 2022. After nearly a decade of bringing great authors and their books right here, every Wednesday, I am shifting my focus a bit. It’s been a joy and privilege to connect with authors and share interviews with you. You can find all of my bookish suggestions, reviews, and more on Instagram in 2022, where I’ll be sharing reels and blurbs about books, what I’m reading, and even writing. Psst! You can share this on Twitter, too.Tweet Keep scrolling to learn more: Memoir-on-Submission: MODEL HOME: Motherhood, Madness & Memory is ‘making the rounds’ with publishing houses. This book has been in my heart for years. It’s about my mother’s devolve into psychosis when I was 10; the body, mind, houses and homes (she was an interior decorator), our estrangement, breaking the cycle, her …

Memoir Monday: Donald Antrim on his new book, one most difficult to write, ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL, how he views suicide as an illness, not an act, a battle with a long-term disease, how literature often misrepresents what its like to live through suicide, more

By Leslie Lindsay A timely and topical call to action, a plea, about the changing nature of suicide, told from someone who has been ‘on the brink’ and back, ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL is a tender, emotional, raw, exploration of what the author posits a ‘social problem.’ ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|MEMOIR MONDAY Leslie Lindsay & Donald Antrim in conversation Donald Antrim is an American novelist. His first novel, Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World, was published in 1993. In 1999, The New Yorker named him as among the 20 best writers under the age of 40. In 2013, he was named a MacArthur Fellow.  ABOUT ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL: I cannot love this book any more. ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL (October 12, 2021, from W.W. Norton & Co.) isprofound, thought-provoking, and infused with clear-eyed examination of one’s life, but the bigger issue at hand: the human condition, sigma. Through a raw and harrowing–yet beautiful–account of the author’s suicide attempt, we are led right onto the fire escape where he vacillated on the decision to …

Nicole Bokat talks about her gorgeously written THE HAPPINESS THIEF, motherhood & careers, the happiness movement, thriving vs surviving, grief, being an empty-nester, how writing fiction is a privilege, more

By Leslie Lindsay  Edgy, smart, and propulsive blend of literary thriller meets family dysfunction. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Spotlight: Motherhood & Mental Illness A masterful tale of family dysfunction, enmeshment, interconnected twists, the infallible effect of memory and emotion, lies, and so much more in Nicole Bokat’s THE HAPPINESS THIEF (SWP, May 18 2021). Natalie Greene is a 41-year old recently divorced woman raising a 15-year old daughter. Even now, she still believes she caused the car crash that led to her mother’s death when she was thirteen. But did she? Haunted by this, her dissolving marriage (and the fact that her ex has so easily moved on), Natalie is trying to make ends meet while being a freelance food photographer when strange emails, the death of her stepfather, and a large FedEx package appears and then disappears, catapulting her back to those earlier days. But there’s more: a recent trip to the Cayman Islands where her stepsister, happiness guru, Isabel’s, conference was held, an eerie similarity to the car crash that happened to Natalie’s mother nearly 30 years prior. Could the two …

Tori Starling talks about her debut, CRAZY FREE, traversing three generations of women, postpartum depression, anxiety; plus a defunct mental health institution, how we need more resources, the healing power of energy medicine, more

By Leslie Lindsay What if the story you had always been led to believe about your family was shaken with a new, devastating truth? ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Spotlight: Motherhood & Mental Health What if the story you had always been led to believe about your family was shaken with a new, devastating truth? That’s the overarching question in CRAZY FREE (Juniper Ray Publishing, April 20th), a debut by Tori Starling. I was immediately entranced with this stunning cover, but what’s more: CRAZY FREE focuses on issues that are near and dear to my heart: motherhood and mental illness. Emily Sharp has always known there were holes in her family history. Her mother, Pam, a high-strung attorney, rarely speaks of her father she despises and her mother died when she was a baby. Emily is a journalist with an assignment from Southern Speaks, a local magazine, to investigate a defunct mental institution known as Hamilton Meadow. While there, Emily discovers more about the institution and Pam reluctantly opens up about her sordid family …

Claire Phillips talks about A ROOM WITH A DARKER VIEW, her mother’s struggle with paranoid schizophrenia, how sharing your darkest moment might bring light and hope to yourself–and others, more

By Leslie Lindsay  What if your mother were blisteringly intelligent and ambitious and yet…she devolved into a stew of paranoia, delusions, and more? ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Memoir Monday: Mental Health & Motherhood This unflinching, insightful, and troubled memoir A ROOM WITH A DARKER VIEW: Chronicles of My Mother and Schizophrenia by Claire Phillips is ambitiously and intelligently told. Claire’s mother, Joy is an Oxford-trained lawyer diagnosed in midlife with paranoid schizophrenia. Here, the author takes a feminist lens and tells her story, recollecting her childhood–and her mother’s–an elegant, non-linear manner, arriving at the dark, and inevitable conclusion. We get a striking glimpse of Claire’s mother from her younger days, the stress of being one of the only practicing female attorneys at time when it was primarily men, her father’s aspirations and career as a scientist, more. Phillips leads us through dark hallways where portraits of delusional thinking and paranoia hang, like a specter. But it’s more than that: A ROOM WITH A DARKER VIEW touches on the broken mental health system, adult children as a caregivers, mental health homelessness, shame, and the universal worry: …

Maryanne O’Hara and I chat about LITTLE MATCHES, a gorgeous tribute to her late daughter, who suffered from cystic fibrosis, transformational healing, reiki, end-of-life doulas, & so much more

By Leslie Lindsay  What happens when your only child dies of a tragic genetic disease and you’re left to grapple with the meaning of life? ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS | ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Memoir Monday: Mental Health Awareness Month What happens when your only child dies of a tragic genetic disease and you’re left to grapple with the meaning of life? This is the overarching question that plaques novelist Maryanne O’Hara as she makes sense of the senseless loss of her adult daughter, Caitlin, following a near-lifelong battle of cystic fibrosis (CF) in her forthcoming memoir, LITTLE MATCHES (HarperOne, April 20 2021). Immediately, I was enthralled with the deep well of questions this wise writer posits to the reader: Where is she?Is she?Is there more to life than this life?Does consciousness survive death?Does my existence have any purpose?Does anyone’s? Of course, death is the only certainty in life and while that’s ironic (and a bit glib), there is so much life that happens in that interstitial space. This is why I think I love LITTLE MATCHES. Maryanne and her husband, Nick, …

In Material That Matters, I share what I imagine my mother’s life was like as a newlywed, her dreams & hopes and how, when she was in her thirties, she had a ‘nervous breakdown’

By Leslie Lindsay A daughter recollects her mother before she was her mother; her creativity, and ultimate psychosis. It’s about motherhood and mystery, how she fits into this intricate network, and more. ~MEMOIR MONDAY~ This is my mother before she was my mother. She had a thrumming, electric energy, as if her skin was embedded with diamonds, glistening with potential. In the 1970s when she met my father, she dreamed of happily-ever-after, flower boxes and flat driveways filled with Big-Wheels and scooters, the giddy shrieks of children. Together, they purchased a plot of land in a new subdivision, one that had a name like Southern Hills or Southhall or maybe it was Westfield, a moniker resembling cardinal directions. Something in her peripheral vision reflected mirth and yet, darkness. Her blue eyes conveyed intelligence, but sadness, too. She planned everything, prepared herself to be a homemaker, an artist, a mother: a sewing machine, canvases for the walls, macramé plant holders dangling from hooks on the ceiling. She culled through Butterick patterns at Cloth World and emerged with …

With stunning grace and precision, openness, and empathy, Sarah Fawn Montogomery talks about her outstanding memoir & her struggles with mental illness

By Leslie Lindsay  Brilliant and incredible debut work of nonfiction, about the author’s life with myriad mental health diagnoses, QUITE MAD, should be required reading for all, but especially those who have been touched with mental illness, either in a personal or professional manner.  With searing intelligence, unflinching honesty, and a breadth of research, Sarah Fawn Montgomery has left me in complete awe. QUITE MAD (Mad Creek Books, 2018) is a gorgeous melding of literary journalism meets memoir and is focused mostly on women in the U.S. and their relationship with mental illness. But. Sarah Fawn Montgomery had a challenging family of origin, too. Much of this tumultuous upbringing is chronicled throughout the pages–delving into both of her parents’ backgrounds, their own anxiety, their desire to adopt a houseful of ‘special needs’ kids (abandoned at birth, drug-addicted babies, and those who otherwise weren’t cut out for foster care and their subsequent diagnoses). I read with interest, with disbelief, with shock. “A wrenching account of a difficult upbringing and a chaotic brain that will leave readers marveling at the author’s …

Anna Quinn’s prose glimmers and sings in her arresting debut, THE NIGHT CHILD

By Leslie Lindsay You’d never know this is a debut. Anna Quinn writes with such a steady hand and full heart, but her words are sparse and poetic. Please join us in conversation as she talks about giving up traditional conventions, listening to the rhythm of language, and so much more.  Perhaps the most powerful, most lyrically written book I’ve read in a long time. THE NIGHT CHILD encompasses luminous prose in a tender tale of traumatic childhood experiences and the fragile curtain of mental health and motherhood in this arresting debut. Nora Brown teaches high school English and lives an uncomplicated life with her 6-year old daughter Fiona and husband Paul. But when, one day near Thanksgiving, Nora glimpses a disembodied face with startling blue eyes and then, later, a message and the image deepens, Nora is completely terrorized. What—whom—was that? And what do they want? Tests are run. There’s nothing physically or medically wrong with Nora, so what was going on? Was it microsleep? Was it just her imagination? Shaken and completely unnerved, …