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I Thought I Could Fly: Portraits of Anguish, Compulsion, and Despair

Overview

“Evocative images, eloquent testimony—a frank and often inspiring exploration of the experience of mental illness.”—Peter D. Kramer, author of Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind and Listening to Prozac

A tree’s bare limbs against a grey sky, a young woman’s vintage slip, the view beneath a bridge’s span. Charlee Brodsky’s stark black-and-white photographs combine with a concise collection of moving personal narratives to form an eloquent ...

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Overview

“Evocative images, eloquent testimony—a frank and often inspiring exploration of the experience of mental illness.”—Peter D. Kramer, author of Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind and Listening to Prozac

A tree’s bare limbs against a grey sky, a young woman’s vintage slip, the view beneath a bridge’s span. Charlee Brodsky’s stark black-and-white photographs combine with a concise collection of moving personal narratives to form an eloquent ensemble of tragedy and hope in the struggle to cope with mental illness.

Charlee Brodsky is a documentary photographer and a professor of photography at Carnegie Mellon University.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Photography professor Brodsky (Carnegie Mellon Univ.; Knowing Stephanie) has gathered a touching and compelling montage of stories and photographs in a coffee-table-sized book with a notably dismal title. One hopes the title won't discourage timid readers from placing the book in plain sight because it provides short, sharp, authentic first-person narratives-and accompanying photos-exploring what it feels like to suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. Each vignette presents a distinctive story, whether it reveals the ecstasies and abysses of bipolarity or the devastation wrought by the suicide of a close friend. This book cannot really be compared to other works-the reviewer has never seen another like it-and its unique qualities would make it an excellent addition to the collections of large public and university libraries, including those that specialize in acquiring art books.
—Lynne F. Maxwell

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934137093
  • Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlee Brodsky is a documentary photographer and a professor of photography at Carnegie Mellon University. She has collaborated on numerous illustrated books with poets, anthropologists and writers on subjects ranging from breast cancer and mental illness to industrial blight. She has won numerous awards, has curated exhibitions dealing with the history of Pennsylvania and exhibits her photography nationally and regionally.

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Table of Contents

How This Book Came to Be 6

Beyond Fear and Stigma 8

Ellen's Breakdown in Rome 14

Grace's Housebound Daughter 18

Allison's Depression 22

Raymond's Achievements and Fall 26

Hank's Wild Rides 30

Rosie's Nanny 34

A Patient's Difficult Diagnosis 38

Howard's Mother 42

Perspectives from a Married Couple 44

Edith's Difficult Daughters 48

Kathy's Morning Walk in the Park 52

Jennifer's Bleak London Winter 54

Suzanne's Illness, an Ironic Twist of Fate 58

A Mother Could Not Save Her Daughter 60

Susan's Road Trip for Help 64

Therapy Saved Patrice 66

Seth and His Inner Child 70

Marsha's Mom's Late-in-Life Depression 74

Karen's Road to Self-Acceptance 78

A Wife Loses Her Husband 80

A Therapist Learns from His Patient 82

Casey's History of Ups and Downs 86

Rebecca's Daughter Comes of Age 90

Justin's Depression 94

A Mother Grieves for Her Son 98

Walter's Life of Urban Unrest 100

Jane's Decline 104

Postpartum Depression Affects a Husband 108

Aaron's College Friend 112

Eileen's Psychosis 114

Andrea's Eating Disorder 118

A Father's Odd Behavior 122

Joy's Long Distance Calls 126

Dale's Military Service 128

Ann Loses Her Daughter to Heroin 132

A Father's Plea to a Judge 136

Where They Are Now 139

Looking Forward with Hope 142

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