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Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother
     

Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother

1.5 4
by Molly McCloskey
 

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When Molly McCloskey was a young girl, her brother Mike--fourteen years her senior and a student at Duke University--started showing signs of paranoid schizophrenia.

Within a few years, his world had begun to fall apart. By the time Molly was old enough to begin to know him, Mike was heavily medicated and frequently delusional, living in hospitals or care homes

Overview

When Molly McCloskey was a young girl, her brother Mike--fourteen years her senior and a student at Duke University--started showing signs of paranoid schizophrenia.

Within a few years, his world had begun to fall apart. By the time Molly was old enough to begin to know him, Mike was heavily medicated and frequently delusional, living in hospitals or care homes or on the road.

Years later, through reading an astonishing archive of letters preserved by her mother and grandmother, and interviewing old friends of Mike's, Molly began to piece together a picture of her brother's life, before and after the illness struck--the story of how a gifted and well-liked student and athlete was overtaken by a terrible illness that rendered him unrecognizable. Now she tells that story--which is also the story of her own demons and of the ways in which a seemingly perfect family can slowly fall apart, and in the end, regroup. Circles Around the Sun is a work of extraordinary intensity and drama from a wonderfully gifted writer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Novelist McCloskey never really got to know her brother, Mike, 14 years her senior, before schizophrenia had taken hold of him, and decides to learn about his life before and everything he lost after in her clear-eyed and heartbreaking story. As she looks back on the charmed adolescence and promise Mike once had—adored by his parents, smart, good-looking and a basketball superstar who won a scholarship to Duke—and the wreckage from an illness that left him unmoored and unrecognizable, she charts her own unraveling. A heavy drinking habit dating back to high school and a crippling and growing fear that she is going the way of her brother leads to her own descent into depression and panic attacks. “My mind felt porous, as though the filters were disintegrating.” Living in rural Ireland where there’s little beyond two pubs and in the grip of a virulent paranoia, she is unable to be on her own or to even go to the store for bread. She finally quits drinking in her early 30s and feels profound relief. The depression and anxiety don’t disappear entirely, but the moments when they return don’t bring the same unending devastation. Although Mike, in his 50s and living in a group home, still feels “very, very present” to his sister, her tender tribute doesn’t bring about a relationship with him. And her tender tribute nevertheless brings healing, and grants her and her family a new way to connect to their son and brother. (Oct.)
- Anne Enright

"Written with great care and simplicity."
- Rachel Cusk

"An extravagantly gifted writer."
From the Publisher
"Written with great care and simplicity." — Anne Enright

"An extravagantly gifted writer." — Rachel Cusk

"Novelist McCloskey never really got to know her brother, Mike, 14 years her senior, before schizophrenia had taken hold of him, and decides to learn about his life before and everything he lost after in her clear-eyed and heartbreaking story…And her tender tribute nevertheless brings healing, and grants her and her family a new way to connect to their son and brother." — Publishers Weekly

"Fiction writer McCloskey tackles the prickly subject of schizophrenia in this bracing memoir about her older brother, Mike. In heartbreaking detail, she recounts Mike’s descent from smart, handsome intercollegiate athlete to muttering, wool-capped, house-bound stranger." — Booklist

Booklist

"Fiction writer McCloskey tackles the prickly subject of schizophrenia in this bracing memoir about her older brother, Mike. In heartbreaking detail, she recounts Mike’s descent from smart, handsome intercollegiate athlete to muttering, wool-capped, house-bound stranger."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781468303919
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
09/27/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
829,638
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Anne Enright
Written with great care and simplicity.
Rachel Cusk
An extravagantly gifted writer.

Meet the Author

Molly McCloskey grew up in Oregon. She is the author of a collection of short stories, Solomon's Seal; a novella and four short stories, The Beautiful Changes; and a novel, Protection.

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Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother 1.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
voyager8 More than 1 year ago
I have read superb memoirs on the subject January First, The Center Cannot Hold to name just a few but Molly McClosky just talks in circles around the subject without any insight or real personal involvement. She really has absolutely nothing to say of any interest. Very disappointed -such an amazing subject but this memoir fallls flat
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is about the families' response to the oldest brother's schizophrenia, as viewed by the author, who is the youngest child. Many pages of the book delve into the authors own anxiety issues as well. I found it difficult to follow .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago