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Madness: Book summary and reviews of Madness by Marya Hornbacher

Madness

A Bipolar Life

by Marya Hornbacher

Madness by Marya Hornbacher X
Madness by Marya Hornbacher
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  • Published Apr 2008
    320 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

An astonishing dispatch from inside the belly of bipolar disorder, reflecting major new insights.

When Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, she did not yet have the piece of shattering knowledge that would finally make sense of the chaos of her life. At age twenty-four, Hornbacher was diagnosed with Type I rapid-cycle bipolar, the most severe form of bipolar disorder.

In Madness, in her trademark wry and utterly self-revealing voice, Hornbacher tells her new story. Through scenes of astonishing visceral and emotional power, she takes us inside her own desperate attempts to counteract violently careening mood swings by self-starvation, substance abuse, numbing sex, and self-mutilation. How Hornbacher fights her way up from a madness that all but destroys her, and what it is like to live in a difficult and sometimes beautiful life and marriage -- where bipolar always beckons -- is at the center of this brave and heart-stopping memoir.

Madness delivers the revelation that Hornbacher is not alone: millions of people in America today are struggling with a variety of disorders that may disguise their bipolar disease. And Hornbacher's fiercely self-aware portrait of her own bipolar as early as age four will powerfully change, too, the current debate on whether bipolar in children actually exists.

Ten years after Kay Redfield Jamison's An Unquiet Mind, this storm of a memoir will revolutionize our understanding of bipolar disorder.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Hornbacher will touch a nerve with readers struggling to cope with mental illness." - Publishers Weekly.

"Followers of Wasted and other literary recovery memoirs will clamor for this." - Library Journal.

This information about Madness was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Marya Hornbacher

Marya Hornbacher, an award-winning journalist, lectures nationally on eating disorders and writing and lives with her husband in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her first book, Wasted was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Her website is at http://www.maryahornbacher.com/

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