Mad Muse -

Mad Muse

The Mental Illness Memoir in a Writer's Life and Work



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Mental illness can often be the driving force behind creativity. This relationship is never more apparent than in the memoirs of writers who have lived, worked and created with a mental illness. Mad Muse examines and unpicks this fascinating relationship, demonstrating that mental illness is often intergenerational while the story of mental illness is intertextual. The study begins with William Styron's iconic memoir Darkness Visible, moving through a succession of mental illness memoirs from some of the most important authors in the genre, including Kate Millett, Kay Redfield Jamison, Linda Sexton, Lauren Slater, Andrew Solomon and Elyn Saks. From memoirs that blur the boundaries between historical truth and narrative truth to a first-person account of schizophrenia, Berman discusses the challenges of reading books which inspire hope and courage in many readers but may also sometimes have unintended consequences. In so doing, it illuminates the complex, co-existing relationship between the arts and mental health and represents an invaluable contribution to the study of health humanities.

Product code: 9781789738100

ISBN 9781789738100
Publisher Emerald Publishing Limited
No. Of Pages 384
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H216xW138
Many of the well-respected scholarly studies of autobiographical writing have little or nothing to say about mental illness. This book uncovers the mysterious relationship between mood disorders and creativity through the lives of seven writers, demonstrating how mental illness is sometimes the driving force behind creativity.