Your Voice in My Head: A Memoir

Your Voice in My Head: A Memoir

by Emma Forrest


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Emma Forrest’s memoir was called “a journey of healing” by Interview magazine and “a beautifully written eulogy for the doctor she credits with saving her life” by Los Angeles Magazine. The book received acclaim from reviewers across the country, the movie rights were snatched up quickly, and Emma herself enchanted audiences at readings in New York and Los Angeles. Brave, brilliantly written, and anchored in the reality of everyday life, Your Voice in My Head is destined to become a classic of the genre.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590515402
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
Publication date: 07/10/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 583,590
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About 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.

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.

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Your Voice in My Head 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
lukespapa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Emma Forrest¿s memoir is a gut-wrenching read. It is an homage to her deceased psychiatrist and an attempt at understanding the failed relationship with her unidentifiable movie-star lover, but most of all it describes her self-mutilation and suicide attempt. However, it is the chapter describing a Shabbat service that is most rewarding as it provides a breakthrough for the author while at the same time uplifts the reader. More than just a confessional, Your Voice in My Head explores the psychological depths of an examined life and that warrants our attention.
BenjaminHahn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Going into this book, I didn't quite know what to expect. I haven't read a feminist depression memoir since grad school and to be honest I wasn't too hopeful about Emma Forrest. The thing that saved this book for me was her very well crafted sentences and the uncontrived way that she linked her themes together. I could tell that Forrest spent a good deal of time working on individual sentences and it shows. Also, it helped knowing that "GH" was Colin Ferrell from the get go. I didn't really see this as a hindrance to the story telling, but I get why she left him nameless.I also related to the time period in which this is all going on 2000-2009. Looking at events like the George Bush elections, than the Barrack election through the eyes of a manic depressive/cutter/serial celebrity dater was interesting to me. Near the end I was sort of torn over what this book was really about. In other words, would I have enjoyed this equally if I didn't know GH was Colin Ferrell? Probably not. Why should I care about Emma Forrest's story? What makes her case of manic depression special? In the end, I believe its her writing skill. The book was a also a bit on the short side with a huge font and the chapter sizes are somewhat short. I certainly finished the book interested in her story though and she gave me a genuine sense of what it was like to be in her shoes. I will seek out other works by her.
SherylHendrix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
People love this book, at least according to the back of the book jacket. While I am sure that Emma Forrest is a gifted writer, I could not connect at all with this memoir. Perhaps it is me - I've never really had to spend lots of time with people who were manic-depressive - and her particular brand of mental illness includes such weird (to me) allusions that I just didn't understand much of what was going on in her head. I also found it extremely sad that people actually have to live without hope - but as a person who finds my hope in Jesus Christ and his resurrection - maybe my inability to connect is to be expected.
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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
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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.
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