Your Voice in My Head: A Memoir

Your Voice in My Head: A Memoir

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by Emma Forrest
     
 

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Emma Forrest, a British journalist, was just twenty-two and living the fast life in New York City when she realized that her quirks had gone beyond eccentricity. In a cycle of loneliness, damaging relationships, and destructive behavior, she found herself in the chair of a slim, balding, and effortlessly optimistic psychiatrist—a man whose wisdom and humanity

Overview

Emma Forrest, a British journalist, was just twenty-two and living the fast life in New York City when she realized that her quirks had gone beyond eccentricity. In a cycle of loneliness, damaging relationships, and destructive behavior, she found herself in the chair of a slim, balding, and effortlessly optimistic psychiatrist—a man whose wisdom and humanity would wrench her from the dangerous tide after she tried to end her life. She was on the brink of drowning, but she was still working, still exploring, still writing, and she had also fallen deeply in love. One day, when Emma called to make an appointment with her psychiatrist, she found no one there. He had died, shockingly, at the age of fifty-three, leaving behind a young family. Reeling from the premature death of a man who had become her anchor after she turned up on his doorstep, she was adrift. And when her all-consuming romantic relationship also fell apart, Emma was forced to cling to the page for survival and regain her footing on her own terms.
   A modern-day fairy tale, Your Voice in My Head is a stunning memoir, clear-eyed and shot through with wit. In her unique voice, Emma Forrest explores the highs and lows of love and the heartbreak of loss.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590514474
Publisher:
Other Press, LLC
Publication date:
05/03/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
392,360
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

I was looking for weekend work, and though it was a Saturday job at a hairdresser’s I was after, somewhere in my teenage mind I thought that Ophelia might need a handmaiden. So, every day after school, before my mum got home, I would cycle to the Tate Gallery to visit
Millais’ muse.
   I didn’t want a Saturday job at a hairdresser and bike riding was not my forte, but I was conscious that I was a thirteen-year-old and thirteen-year-olds ride bikes for fun and wash hair for tip money. Later I would understand that disconnect: “This is how and what I am supposed to want, and so I will try.”
   Approaching the Tate, I knew what was coming. I could see Ophelia’s Titian hair, her white body floating down the river, the flowers around her. Sometimes, when I got there, she was dead. Other times she was still dying and could be saved by someone on the riverbank I’d never
seen before. Someone Millais had sketched and then painted over, under the pigment, taking shallow breaths so as not to be seen—a man who’d let her act it out, but who wouldn’t let her drown.
   Though I’d never had sex, there were days when Ophelia seemed to be caught in a sexual act, her arms reached above her, her mouth open, beneath an invisible lover. A long time later—after I’d been in love—I knew that she could not let go on the banks as she drifted by. The flowers beg her stay in the moment. His scent keeps her locked in the past. Those afternoons, the Tate was populated by a combination of the brightly patterned elderly and young, hip gallery patrons in black (the former keeping out of the rain.The latter longing for rain to get caught
in).There was always at least one pickup going on. But mainly, on the leather banquette, in the center of the grand room, I’d sit in front of Millais’ painting, eating a secret bag of crisps, and cry.

Meet the Author

Emma Forrest is the author of three novels and editor of the nonfiction essay collection Damage Control. Raised in London, she now lives in Los Angeles, where she is a screenwriter.

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Your Voice in My Head 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of all the good memoirs out there that never make it into print, how in the world did this one make it? I skimmed it because I wanted in the worst way for Emma to face up to the truth... to find her Self. To do so, she would have had to face the underlying reason for her self-destructive behavior in the form of cutting, bulimia, promiscuity, suicide attempts. And that is not to mention losing her Self in every relationship and then being completely bereft when he leaves her. The one moment... just the one... is what kept me reading the book, to give her every chance to come clean with her Self, her counselor, her parents, and her readers. It is the moment when she is confronted with the knowledge that her cutting could be a sign of abuse in her childhood. She steers around that, and has herself believing it all started when she was sixteen when she was raped. I am not a counselor, but I know the signs all too well. She is a classic example of someone who identifies with the perpetrator. I, too, endured childhood abuse. I, too, developed bulimia. I know all too well how painful the healing process can be. But at some point, I faced that pain and I steered through it, not around. Thank goodness... I could have been stuck in this kind of insanity the rest of my life. If you want to get pulled into Emma Forrest's insanity, read this book. Otherwise spare yourself this and read a book that doesn't leave you feeling like you've just wasted your time.
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aaronsmomlibrarian More than 1 year ago
Curious, from the first few sentences I couldn't put this down. Since losing my son Aaron... age 20 to suicide, I continue to tear the world apart to find the answer that forever haunts me: why??? This gifted writer opens her veins and pours out things that most wouldn't dare to share. Painfull, i'm sure, but i'm glad she did.
RosalindConnage More than 1 year ago
Was hooked instantly. Great writing -just love Emma Forrest
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recently read on planes to and around Europe (one of my vacation reads). Engaging, well written, Emma brings to light a topic that people shy away from discussing openly but which in fact is more common than people think. People suffer whether we think they should or not (I refer to the idea that she is from a caring well off background and she should be grateful for all that she has) and frankly unless you are in that person's mind, one can never comprehend that person's emotions and/or pain. As a memoir, it further entertains by a thorough account of an experience that many of us would not refuse...having an intense romantic affair with an attractive, charismatic public figure.
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Caitlin519 More than 1 year ago
The content of this book may scare some people away, but it doesn't take away from Emma Forrest's amazing writing style. She does a great job at bringing a taboo subject to light in her familiar voice and style. If you like her other books as much as I do, definitely buy this one. I think this book is more special than her others because it's real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago