I've never really trusted the old adage "You can't judge a book by its cover." Often, you can; at the very least, you can gauge a sense of which publishers hire the most talented designers. Helen Yentus's cover for this intriguing memoir perfectly distills its essence by portraying three cornhusk dolls (child, mother, and father) against a blue floral backdrop, thus conveying both coziness and unease. Cornhusk dolls have no facial features: you can only intuit what they are meant to represent by their size and attire. Consequently, before readers even open this book, they have some idea of what it would be like to live with face blindness, to be forced to discern a person's identity by shape and context alone.
The world of face blindness that Heather Sellers shows readers in her memoir is a frightening one, initially fraught with embarrassment and...
Beyond the Book
We live in a memoir-saturated era in which it often seems that nearly everyone has written a story about their experiences with substance abuse, parental neglect, the ravages of fame, and trips to the psychiatric ward. This glut makes it easy to dismiss memoirs as the overheated fabrications of narcissistic attention-seekers, and although many memoirs do unfortunately fall into that category, the best ones transcend their subject matter to show us how people live, love, fail, and triumph, often despite (or because of) various mental and neurological disorders. Here is a list of some memoirs focusing on mental health that I have found to be particularly engaging, honest, and unsentimental: