David Fitzpatrick’s Sharp is an extraordinary memoir—a fascinating, disturbing look into the mind of a man who, in his early 20s, began cutting himself due to a severe mental illness. A beautifully written treatment of a powerful subject, Fitzpatrick—whose symptoms included extreme depression and self-mutilation—writes movingly and honestly about his affliction and inspires readers with his courage, joining the literary ranks of Terri Cheney (Manic), Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors), Marya Hornbacher (Wasted), and Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted).
“A harrowing journey from self-destructive psychosis to a cautious re-emergence into the flickering sunshine of the sane world….Fitzpatrick writes about mental illness with the unsparing intensity of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton but also with the hard-won self-knowledge of William Styron, Kay Jamison, and other chroniclers of disease, recovery, and management…. A must read, remarkably told.”—Wally Lamb, author of I Know This Much is True
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About the Author
David Fitzpatrick was born in Dearborn, Michigan, grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Skidmore College, and earned his MFA degree from Fairfield University in 2011. He works part-time at an auto dealership and is married to a graphic designer and fellow writer, Amy Holmes. His work has been published by The New Haven Review, Barely South Review, and Fiction Weekly. He lives in Middletown, Connecticut.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Bending the Arc 1
Chapter 1 Before the Shellacking 17
Chapter 2 The Deal That Worked 45
Chapter 3 A Complete Win 79
Chapter 4 A Quiet Victory 102
Chapter 5 The Strategy 123
Chapter 6 Leaning Forward 149
Chapter 7 The Battle Begins 178
Chapter 8 Leading from Behind the Scenes 202
Chapter 9 The End of the Beginning 226
Chapter 10 Mission Accomplished 253
Chapter 11 Return of the Hostage Takers 278
Chapter 12 The Big Cross 303
Chapter 13 Obama Unleashed 350
Chapter 14 The Battle Ahead 388
Epilogue to the Paperback Edition 399
A Note on Sources 419
What People are Saying About This
“Tortured and tormented as he was, Fitzpatrick never blinks as he recounts his residency in hell. Piercingly honest, he forces us to recognize and embrace the most broken parts of ourselves. Be forewarned: this book will expand your heart and mind.”
“What makes this memoir so riveting and so unforgettable isn’t the myriad of horrors that its narrator inflicts upon himself. It’s the razor-sharp humor and abiding wisdom and depth of humanity with which its author graces the reader. Sharp cuts deep into your heart.”
David Fitzpatrick’s Sharp is a must read, remarkably told.
“Sharp is a courageously honest book by a gentle, damaged soul who fought his way to the light with a ferocity he never thought he possessed. Fitzpatrick’s recounting of his struggle with severe mental illness shines with intelligence, pain and hard-won, self-confidence. ”
A great book - the real inside story. If you want to understand the Obama White House and how Washington works, you have to read it.