A Mind of Winter: Chronicling Seasonal Darkness

Book review: The Light in the Dark, by Horatio Clare (Amazon / Book Depository) The struggle is intensifying. It is like being sealed into a grey snowball which keeps gathering defeats. However much I wash, I seem to smell of dirty winter trains and exhaust… Winter is a miser at the moment, giving nothing but bills. The result is inarticulacy… The words and the lightness … Continue reading A Mind of Winter: Chronicling Seasonal Darkness

Taming Agoraphobia, and One’s Twenties

Book review: Agorafabulous! by Sara Benincasa (Amazon / Book Depository) This day was different. This day I woke up, stared at the ceiling, and was gripped by the certain knowledge that, if I left the apartment, something terrible would happen. I did not know what the terrible event was, only that it would occur, and with a fury. One might reasonably ask how I could have “known” such … Continue reading Taming Agoraphobia, and One’s Twenties

Frank Stories of Schizophrenia

Book review: A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise, by Sandra Allen (Amazon / Book Depository) All those fuckers…all of them with their clicking pens and quiet judgment, all of them did not get it. There was something in the sky. This was the best moment of Bob’s life so far. This was when he realized that, no matter what, there was something bigger than all of … Continue reading Frank Stories of Schizophrenia

Inside a Manhattan New Age Cult

Book review: The Cult Next Door, by Elizabeth Burchard Amazon When cults make the news, it’s often because they’ve done something awful on a compound somewhere, or in the jungles of Guyana. This memoir shows the mesmerizing power of a cult close to home, one that forms in the heart of a major metropolis, in one of Manhattan’s poshest neighborhoods, and for decades ensnared members in a cycle of … Continue reading Inside a Manhattan New Age Cult

The Complicated Necessity of Solitude

Book review: Journal of a Solitude, by May Sarton “I am way outside somewhere in the wilderness. And it has been a long time of being in the wilderness.” Writer May Sarton retreated to a cottage in New Hampshire for one year, where she holed up and wrote and confronted the seasons, both of the year and of her life. Journal of a Solitude is the diary she kept during this … Continue reading The Complicated Necessity of Solitude

Teens Under Pressure: The Dark Side of College and Competition

Book review: What Made Maddy Run, by Kate Fagan espnW columnist Kate Fagan wrote a highly-praised and publicized article, “Split Image” about the 2014 suicide of Madison Holleran, a brilliantly promising, Ivy League student athlete. The article explored how and why this talented, successful, ambitious, and vivacious teenager attending the University of Pennsylvania as a track star student-athlete would want to take her life. In January 2014, … Continue reading Teens Under Pressure: The Dark Side of College and Competition

Insights for Introverting

Book review: The Secret Lives of Introverts, by Jenn Granneman “Say what you will about labeling. That little label changed my life.” Jenn Granneman, founder of the blog Introvert, Dear, a community site for introverts, relates advice, interviews, statistics about introversion, and ideas about how to make one’s way in the world as one. Adjusting to a world that’s not exactly geared towards introverts is a tall order. … Continue reading Insights for Introverting

Musings on Art and Loneliness

Book review: The Lonely City, by Olivia Laing “It was becoming increasingly easy to see how people ended up vanishing in cities, disappearing in plain sight, retreating into their apartments because of sickness or bereavement, mental illness or the persistent, unbearable burden of sadness and shyness, not knowing how to impress themselves into the world.” Olivia Laing unexpectedly became a British expatriate alone in New York City, … Continue reading Musings on Art and Loneliness

A Surrealist Writes Her Madness

Book review: Down Below, by Leonora Carrington A strange, surreal account of painter, sculptor and writer Leonora Carrington’s 1943 stay in a Spanish mental institution after descending into mental illness. An English transplant to France where the Surrealist movement had found fertile ground, Carrington wrote this short book, actually more like an extended essay, as a stream-of-consciousness style explanation of what she saw and felt, both … Continue reading A Surrealist Writes Her Madness