The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide by Gayle Brandeis

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The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide Read Online Free - Award-winning novelist and poet Gayle Brandeis's wrenching memoir of her complicated family history and her mother's suicide

Gayle Brandeis's mother disappeared just after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found: she had hanged herself in the utility closet of a Pasadena parking garage. In this searing, formally inventive memoir, Gayle describes the dissonance between being a new mother, a sweet-smelling infant at her chest, and a grieving daughter trying to piece together what happened, who her mother was, and all she had and hadn't understood about her.

Around the time of her suicide, Gayle's mother had been working on a documentary about the rare illnesses she thought ravaged her family: porphyria and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. In The Art of Misdiagnosis, taking its title from her mother's documentary, Gayle braids together her own narration of the charged weeks surrounding her mother's suicide, transcripts of her mother's documentary, research into delusional and factitious disorders, and Gayle's own experience with misdiagnosis and illness (both fabricated and real). Slowly and expertly, The Art of Misdiagnosis peels back the complicated layers of deception and complicity, of physical and mental illness in Gayle's family, to show how she and her mother had misdiagnosed one another.

Gayle's memoir is both a compelling search into the mystery of one's own family and a life-affirming story of the relief discovered through breaking familial and personal silences. Written by a gifted stylist, The Art of Misdiagnosis delves into the tangled mysteries of disease, mental illness, and suicide and comes out the other side with grace.

Title : The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0807044865
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 240 pages


Leslie rated it ★★★★★

November 11, 2017

Razor-sharp, raw, poetic memoir about mothers and daughters, suicide, mental illness, and grief. Gayle Brandeis's mother disappeared shortly after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found hanging in the utility closet of parking garage of an apartment buildin...

Jordan rated it ★★★★★

December 26, 2017

A brilliant and harrowing peek back through the author's childhood illness, exaggerated and fostered by her brilliant but mentally ill mother who ultimately dies by suicide. Brandeis writes with a poet's beauty and a journalist's keen observation, making herself vulnerable as she pieces together...

Sue rated it ★★★★★

December 20, 2017

Wow. I read the first line, “After my mother hangs herself, I become Nancy Drew,” and didn’t look up until I was 80 pages in. I looked up and dove back in again. This memoir about Brandeis’ mother’s suicide and so much more is a work of art. The title comes from the title of a documentary film he...

Susan rated it ★★★★☆

February 21, 2018

Too often, we ignore difficult emotions and hard conversations--until we have no choice but to confront them, which is what happened for Gayle Brandeis when her mother committed suicide. And while that's not a situation (thankfully) that many of us will ever face, the author's honest, moving, and...

Danette rated it ★★★★☆

December 05, 2017

This was a painful read, and I don’t know how she brought herself to share so much. But I do appreciate her candor and found so much of her journey interesting, and certain areas are just fascinating. Her writing is style is sophisticated and poetic, and I found her skill set combined with the of...

Susan rated it ★★★★☆

November 22, 2017

Very good read not only about mental illness, but, on how to survive a family member's suicide.

Rivera rated it ★★★★★

November 26, 2017

A strangely fascinating journey that grips you from the start and doesn't let go until you feel as if you know the whole family personally. The unraveling of her mother's (and her own) life yields insights for all of us. It took great courage to write this book, and share it with all of us. The s...

Katie rated it ★★★★★

November 21, 2017

A lyrical, searing memoir about sudden and devastating loss, this is one 2017 book not to be missed. Moving between the time surrounding her mother's suicide and a posthumous letter to her mother, Gayle Brandeis has drilled into the center of complicated maternal loss in her beautiful poet's pros...

Romalyn rated it ★★★★★

November 16, 2017

As an ardent fan of Gayle Brandeis' words, I pre-ordered the book and had it delivered on publication day. Then sat down and devoured it. The subject is difficult, no doubt about it, but in the end, this poignant memoir says far more about life than it does about death. Relationships are complex,...

Lauralee rated it ★★★★☆

December 01, 2017

Actually a 3 and a half. Kind of a choppy read, slow going for me, but real and, perhaps because I'm a therapist, familiar.

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