What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen

What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen

by Kate Fagan


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The heartbreaking story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose life and death by suicide reveal the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today in this #1 New York Times Sports and Fitness bestseller

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#1 New York Times Monthly Sports and Fitness bestseller

If you scrolled through the Instagram feed of 19-year-old Maddy Holleran, you would see a perfect life: a freshman at an Ivy League school, recruited for the track team, who was also beautiful, popular, and fiercely intelligent. This was a girl who succeeded at everything she tried, and who was only getting started.

But when Maddy began her long-awaited college career, her parents noticed something changed. Previously indefatigable Maddy became withdrawn, and her thoughts centered on how she could change her life. In spite of thousands of hours of practice and study, she contemplated transferring from the school that had once been her dream. When Maddy's dad, Jim, dropped her off for the first day of spring semester, she held him a second longer than usual. That would be the last time Jim would see his daughter.

WHAT MADE MADDY RUN began as a piece that Kate Fagan, a columnist for espnW, wrote about Maddy's life. What started as a profile of a successful young athlete whose life ended in suicide became so much larger when Fagan started to hear from other college athletes also struggling with mental illness. This is the story of Maddy Holleran's life, and her struggle with depression, which also reveals the mounting pressures young people, and college athletes in particular, face to be perfect, especially in an age of relentless connectivity and social media saturation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316356527
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 07/17/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 27,712
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Kate Fagan is a columnist and feature writer for espnW, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. She is also a regular panelist on ESPN's Around the Horn and can also be seen on Outside the Lines, First Take and His & Hers. Previously, Fagan spent three seasons covering the 76ers for the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is the author of a memoir, The Reappearing Act, and co-host of the espnW podcast, Free Cookies. Kate lives in Brooklyn, New York with her girlfriend Kathryn Budig, and their two dogs.

Table of Contents

Foreword Alison Overholt ix

Author's Note 3

Chapter 1 Shattered 5

In Real Life 22

Chapter 2 August 23, 2013 39

Chapter 3 The Collapse 63

Mind, Body, Spirit 78

Chapter 4 Vacuum 92

Active Minds 108

Chapter 5 Just Sleep 123

All Alone 137

Chapter 6 Size Nothing 151

Chapter 7 Snow Falling 168

The Quitting Game 189

Chapter 8 The Meeting 204

Dreamscapes 232

Chapter 9 The Picture 235

Anticipation 243

Chapter 10 Spruce and 15th 257

The Rules of Suicide 279

Chapter 11 Shattered II 290

Acknowledgments 301

Resources 303

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What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A necessary read for anyone who can either relate to suicidal thoughts or may need some perspective. Also, if you have a teenage child this might remind you to be more aware of your kids mental health.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect balance of the general issues concerning the growing mental health issues in society, the author's experience in similarity to the story she was telling, and the actual story of Maddy. This book explains perfectly that there is no answer. There is no singular cause, there is no singular cure, and there certainly is no singular story that will encompass what people all over the world suffer through every day who are afflicted with depression and anxiety. While I was able to connect personally to this story because of the factor of collegiate athletics, it pushes the boundaries further to include all victims of the disease and those who are trying to support their afflicted friends and family. The conversation about mental health and the damaging effects that certain aspects of our rapidly modernizing society is unfortunately not had enough. Ms. Fagan does an amazing job of starting the conversation again with her telling of Madison Holleran's story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely one of the greatest books I have every read. Maddy is brought to life and insight into mental illness is translated throughout the writing in such an elegant way. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well wrote. Hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago