The Art of Misdiagnosis

By Gayle Brandeis,

Book cover of The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide

Book description

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.…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Art of Misdiagnosis as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Gayle Brandeis’s intimate memoir of wrestling with her mother’s suicide following a long mental illness kept me company in the ways it mirrored my own experience. It is sometimes easier to mourn a stranger’s pain, as you edge towards your own grief. Brandeis’s reading through her mother’s letters, with their paranoid delusions and grandiose aspirations, “passionate and creatively punctuated,” rang true to my father’s crazy literary outpourings. Her experiences of entering her mother’s home to witness the evidence of her last activities, to the almost physical trauma of learning the stark details of her mother’s suicide method, comforted me in…

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