Letters to a Young Madman: A Memoir

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Overview

Finalist for 2013 Minnesota Book Award, Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

Paul Gruchow’s work is widely viewed as a rich and enduring contribution to American letters, and particularly to writing about the natural world. Less well known is the fact Gruchow spent nearly his entire adult life trying to overcome the depression that eventually resulted in his death. Over the course of his illness, competing diagnoses as bipolar and paranoid schizophrenic led to a plethora of ...

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Overview

Finalist for 2013 Minnesota Book Award, Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

Paul Gruchow’s work is widely viewed as a rich and enduring contribution to American letters, and particularly to writing about the natural world. Less well known is the fact Gruchow spent nearly his entire adult life trying to overcome the depression that eventually resulted in his death. Over the course of his illness, competing diagnoses as bipolar and paranoid schizophrenic led to a plethora of treatments and stays at institutions. As he grew increasingly frustrated by the mental health system, Gruchow began to capture his experiences in short, highly concentrated pieces of prose. Collected in this volume shortly before his death, they weave a portrait of a man struggling to come to terms with his own thoughts and emotions. Rendering his grief, humiliation, guilt, laughter, and frustration in an extraordinarily lucid and disarming voice, Gruchow offers an utterly singular, essential articulation of one man’s struggle with what he calls the "third dimension in which you are still technically alive but incapable of living." Unsparingly dark and yet ultimately illuminating, Letters to a Young Madman offers perhaps the most insightful and honest dialogue with madness since William Styron’s Darkness Visible.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780985397234
  • Publisher: Levins Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 708,274
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Brutal, at times humorous, look at what it is like to be mentally ill in america

    The author describes in very personal, at times excrutiatingly painful, terms,the indignities of being mentally ill in our "modern" world. In very short "snapshots" the author describes his own descent into despair, yet imbues his own suffering and that of his fellow suffers with a dignity that helps the reader to look at mental illness in a totally different light. This is an eye-opening book that brings an honesty to the subject of mental illness and depression that pulls the reader closer to compassion and understanding.

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