Your Voice in My Head

Your Voice in My Head

Book - 2011
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A dazzling and devastating memoir -- Girl Interrupted for the Juno generation.

Talented, prolific and charming, Emma Forrest was settled in Manhattan at twenty-two and on contract to the Guardian when she realized that her quirks had gone beyond eccentricity, past the warm waters of weird and into those cold, deep patches of the sea where people lose their lives.

Lonely, in a dangerous cycle of cutting and bulimia, and drawn inexplicably to damaging and cruel relationships, she found herself in the chair of a slim, balding and effortlessly optimistic psychiatrist -- a man whose wisdom and humanity would wrench her from the vibrant and dangerous tide of herself, and who would help her to recover when she tried to end her life.

Emma's loving and supportive family and friends circled around her in panic. Like Ophelia, Emma was on the brink of drowning. But she was also still working, still exploring, still writing. And then she fell in love.

One day, when Emma called to make an appointment with her psychiatrist, she found no one there. He had died, shockingly, at the age of fifty-three, leaving behind a young family for whom he had fought to survive. Processing the premature doorstep, a failed suicide, she was adrift. And when her significant and all-consuming relationship also fell apart, she was forced to cling to the page for survival.

Your Voice in My Head is spiked with wit, humour and unique perception. It not only explores the crashing weight of depression, mania and suffering, but also the beauty of love and the heartbreak of loss. It is also, fundamentally, about our relationship with ourselves.
Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, 2011.
ISBN: 9780307359315
Characteristics: 214 pages ; 22 cm


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I gave in to the considerable hype that was generated when this book came out (the author dated Colin Farrell). This book is about her struggle with manic depression, including suicide attempts, eating disorder, and failed relationships. I have to admire someone who is able to make me laugh out loud in places despite the dark, heavy topic. She’s witty, humorous, obsessive and self-absorbed , but a survivor and all too human. The book’s being turned into a movie, possibly starring Emma Watson from the Harry Potter films. (submitted by RB)

RPLRebecca Sep 03, 2014

A beautifully written memoir about mental health and coming to terms with the death of the author’s well-loved psychiatrist (whose voice she still hears in her head). Forrest writes from a unique perspective as a young, successful writer living in New York who has ties to glamorous Hollywood. While sad at times this book is also full of wit and humour.

Nov 16, 2013

A quick read, and partly because it's quite interesting. If you don't already know who the mystery man in the book is, I recommend you DON'T look it up... wait until you're done to find out; I did this (upon recommendations of friends) and it added to the experience. Overall, I was definitely very intrigued, although I can't agree with the reviews that rave about Forrest's writing style. If anything, I found the writing itself so-so, but the events and trying to figure out her mystery man the more fascinating aspects. And Dr. R sounds like he was a terrific person.

Jan 29, 2013

Extremely well written, Emma Forrest is very good at what she does. Could not put it down.

Dec 11, 2012

One of my favorite reads of 2012. The way Emma writes so candidly about her illness haunts you for months after you’ve finished reading it. I love that she kept certain peoples names out of it; it wasn’t about them it was about her internal struggles. I’ve heard they are in talks to make this in to a movie, I hope they can do it justice.

Jun 18, 2012

Very well-written and plotted (I read it one sitting) - but as for content...I really appreciated the author's candor about thoughts and parts of life that most people would not be brave enough to reveal, but she never succeeded in conveying the experience of her mental illness (which expressed itself in self-destructive behaviors such as degrading sex and cutting). It came across as a surface account of her real feelings and motivations. Also, she makes a big deal about protecting the anonymity of her psychiatrist's (the voice in her head) family - at his widow's request - but provides more than enough information in the book to ID them from a 5 second internet search. Plus, even aside from the author's annoying penchant for irrelevant name-dropping, she remains shallowly vain about her access to entertainment celebrities (read: Colin Farrell). So I came away from the book both sympathetic to and irritated by her. This is obviously a personal reaction and shouldn't dissuade anyone interested in the subjects of psychotherapy, mental illness, or fickle movie stars.

kelshaw Apr 27, 2012

Really enjoyed this book - a great memoir

LaimaA Mar 20, 2012

Well written book, but the subject is a bit self-indulgent (as I'm sure mental illness tends to be). The author has a lovely way with a phrase.

leahpayne Oct 20, 2011

This is such a well-written, tormented story of Forrest's struggle through her mental illness and dealing with loss. It is the first book of hers I read and I'm hooked.

Sep 12, 2011

Excellent portrayal of mental illness and how it distorts reality and causes life problems.
I am tired of books always using subjects that appear to have money and some stability so that although life is certainly difficult there is always a large sfety net.
Not sure this is real for many who suffer the same illness in large part.
Emma Forrest has done the world a service by describing the illness but I do not believe she lives the tradegy in full.

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