Hurry down Sunshine: A Father's Memoir of Love and Madness

Hurry down Sunshine: A Father's Memoir of Love and Madness

3.1 24
by Michael Greenberg
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1590511913

ISBN-13: 9781590511916

Pub. Date: 09/09/2008

Publisher: Other Press, LLC

HURRY DOWN SUNSHINE TELLS THE STORY OF THE extraordinary summer when, at the age of fifteen, Michael Greenberg’s daughter was struck mad. It begins with Sally’s visionary crack-up on the streets of Greenwich Village, and continues, among other places, in the out-of-time world of a Manhattan psychiatric ward during the city’s most sweltering

Overview

HURRY DOWN SUNSHINE TELLS THE STORY OF THE extraordinary summer when, at the age of fifteen, Michael Greenberg’s daughter was struck mad. It begins with Sally’s visionary crack-up on the streets of Greenwich Village, and continues, among other places, in the out-of-time world of a Manhattan psychiatric ward during the city’s most sweltering months. “I feel like I’m traveling and traveling with nowhere to go back to,” Sally says in a burst of lucidity while hurtling away toward some place her father could not dream of or imagine. Hurry Down Sunshine is the chronicle of that journey, and its effect on Sally and those closest to her–her brother and grandmother, her mother and stepmother, and, not least of all, the author himself. Among Greenberg’s unforgettable gallery of characters are an unconventional psychiatrist, an Orthodox Jewish patient, a manic Classics professor, a movie producer, and a landlord with literary dreams. Unsentimental, nuanced, and deeply humane, Hurry Down Sunshine holds the reader in a mesmerizing state of suspension between the mundane and the transcendent.

“The psychotic break of his fifteen-year-old daughter is the grit around which Michael Greenberg forms the pearl that is Hurry Down Sunshine. It is a brilliant, taut, entirely original study of a suffering child and a family and marriage under siege. I know of no other book about madness whose claim to scientific knowledge is so modest and whose artistic achievement is so great.” – Janet Malcolm, author of The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes and The Journalist and the Murderer

“One of the most gripping and disturbingly honest books I have ever read.  The courage Michael Greenberg shows in narrating the story of his adolescent daughter’s descent into psychosis is matched by his acute understanding of how alone each of us, sane or manic, is in our processing of reality and our attempts to get others to appreciate what seems important to us. This is a remarkable memoir.” – Phillip Lopate, author of Two Marriages and Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590511916
Publisher:
Other Press, LLC
Publication date:
09/09/2008
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
8.74(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.93(d)

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Hurry down Sunshine: A Father's Memoir of Love and Madness 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Rossa_Forbes More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written book about the sudden onset of bi-polar disorder in the author's 15 year old daughter. The father unsparingly chronicles the changes that took place in his daughter and the havoc that was created in their small household. With a writer's eye and sensitivity, he struggles to understand the condition in the literary sense (relating James Joyce's struggle to understand his schizophrenic daughter Lucia). He sees his daughter as highly gifted and caring, marvels at her creative energy, and wonders, like I do about my own child, if this is not just a struggle to grow as a human being. We, of course, feel that professional help is needed, but we are also not convinced by the current drug treatment approach. I am disappointed that the author does not make a clearer case for why he is disillusioned with the medication. He is troubled by it, yet somehow has struck an uneasy, but unexplained truce. Michael Greenberg's daughter was acutely ill for a very short time (seven weeks) and that is the time period that the book covers. Had she been ill longer he might have had to look beyond the medication and limited psychotherapy for help. On the other hand, he is a father, not a mother and as a father he can detach himself in ways that the mother often cannot. There are of course, deep father/child bonds, but the mother/child affinity is unique. This book was written ten years after his daughter's first episode. She has continued to struggle intermittently with bi-polar while on various medications, medications he has grown to hate. In my son's case, because his illness continued much longer than seven weeks, and because he was not getting better on the medications, I had to do something for him myself. I feel that this extra time allowed me to find the cause or causes of his symptoms. I was able to spend more time with psychiatrists and institutional psychiatric care, seeing what the drugs and the attitudes really did to my son (and to me!). I had to finally part ways with the institutional psychiatrists because they were not helping my son to get better. There is so much creativity and a poetry to the condition that I sometimes wonder if the reason for these conditions is to bring out creativity in others, or at the very least to allow us to pause and contemplate life's purpose.
mobile More than 1 year ago
I was completely disappointed in this one. It would have made a good magazine article but as a book it was very poor. I felt the first 100 pages were added just to make the story long enough to be a book. The rest of the book was excellent.
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I have a sister who suffers with mental illness and I found this story to be a very true to life detailed account of what an illness like this can be like for the person suffering with the illness as well as the torment that the family suffers and how it can tear them apart in unimaginable ways. It is a difficult read due to the nature of the content. If you have a family member with mental illness I highly reccommend this one.
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SUZYQ22 More than 1 year ago
I found this book about Bipolar Disorder to be very helpful. I have found it helpful to read as many books as possible about this disorder as my daughter has Bipolar 1. Another new book just released I found inspiring and has given me great hope is a new memoir called I just want my daughter back - coming to terms with Bipolar 1 by BC Levinson that I found on Amazon.com . Seeing how others cope with bipolar disorder has made a big difference in our journey. It gives hope to those of us walking in these shoes. I actually found the new book through Twitter.com.. you can even chat with the author @BIPOLARSMOM2 . Very nice lady.. Hope this helps Sue
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