Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother

( 4 )

Overview


When Molly McCloskey was a child, her older brother Mike started showing signs of paranoid schizophrenia. Then, as a young adult, Molly found herself panicky and drinking heavily--and wondered about her own sanity. She began to piece together a picture of her family history--and the story of how Mike, a gifted student and athlete, was overtaken by an illness that rendered him unrecognizable.

Circles Around the Sun is a courageous and beautiful memoir that sheds light not only ...

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Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother

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Overview


When Molly McCloskey was a child, her older brother Mike started showing signs of paranoid schizophrenia. Then, as a young adult, Molly found herself panicky and drinking heavily--and wondered about her own sanity. She began to piece together a picture of her family history--and the story of how Mike, a gifted student and athlete, was overtaken by an illness that rendered him unrecognizable.

Circles Around the Sun is a courageous and beautiful memoir that sheds light not only on McCloskey's family, but on the myths that all families build for themselves.

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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.)
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."
- Anne Enright

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

"An extravagantly gifted writer."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781468307085
  • Publisher: Overlook TP
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 705,121
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    awful

    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

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Confusing

    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 .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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