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Buy This Book: Your Voice in My Head, A Memoir by Emma Forrest

Living is a haphazard sometimes painful, sometimes joy-shot experience. There’s the uncertainty, there are setbacks, pressures and bouts with loss of confidence. That’s under normal conditions, whatever “normal” is, but what happens when conditions aren’t normal, when behavior exceeds even the least confining definition of that word? In her compelling memoir, Your Voice in My Head, screenwriter and novelist, Emma Forrest, opens a writerly vein to show what it’s like to live in your own personal little house of horrors. Her story is heart rending and brilliant. It is difficult and uplifting. She was troubled in her teens. Most teens are, but her trouble overlooked a sharper edge, a seemingly never ending, black abyss. She was in constant danger of falling, of losing herself. She battled with her will to live treating it to a smorgasbord of self destructive acts and then, finally, in her twenties, while healing from the effects of yet another near fatal suicide attempt, she experienced what was a searing and brave flash of insight for someone so young and knew she had to reach out, to find help. And she did come under the gentle guidance of a psychiatrist, a doctor who became her anchor, her cardinal north.

But then one day when she called, he wasn’t there and she learned he had died suddenly, right when she was beginning to trust herself, just when she had finally decided she might be worth rescuing after all. The tale from here sketches her faltering steps; there is risk, breath is held. But remember that searing flash of insight? That was out of pure courage, a quality that Emma Forrest has in spades. Self awareness and the ability to face one’s demons is difficult enough in middle age, in old age, but in one so young as she was, it is remarkable, nothing short of fearless. Her memoir may strike some as dark, and it is, but it is also a story of unflinching illumination and the indomitability of the human spirit. In language that is at once spare and wry, as filled with pathos as it is with humor, Your Voice in My Head chronicles a journey of heartbreak and healing, of hope and resolve.

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