Review & Interview: Beautiful Wreck – Sex, Lies & Suicide

Isn’t that a great title? I’d pick that book up regardless of its bipolar content. 

I felt as if death wouldn’t be a shock because I had already died and was only shambling through the motions of living and relating to others, as if I were a robot or a zombie. (Stephanie Schroeder)


This is not your conventional bipolar memoir; if you want a book with solid linear progression, featuring bipolar every step of the way. If you want to get to know an interesting woman who can make you laugh and who doesn’t blame it all on the bipolar, read this one. And halle-freaking-lujah it’s written by somebody I can relate to in more depth than previous memoirs, a lesbian. (okay, there’s ‘Marbles’, but there’s not a lot of actual reading in that.) There aren’t many places you’ll find the words bipolar and butch cock together and believe me, that fact made me grin. The author’s creative writing career began with erotica and her skill and ease with the genre shows in this book. Having said that, if you’re expecting something lasciviously detailed to jerk off to, this isn’t it. Unless you’re maybe, you know, the speedster type.

It’s a damn fine read and it was the tone and quality of the writing that hooked me – my only niggles are some shifts in tense that threw me a bit, but then, I’m an editor and therefore nitpicky as hell. The presence of domestic violence (by the loathsome Lauren) may upset some, but it’s expressed fairly briefly and in a matter of fact style. In fact, the entire book is matter of fact – even the parts that will make my heterofriends’ eyes bulge a bit, avoid cheap sensationalism (but don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty hot). Her voice is strong throughout and hindsight has clearly taught more than its fair share of lessons. Suicide is (obviously) one of the book’s major themes and the journeys to and away from her attempts are well illustrated by journal entries from the time – and her suicide notes.

If any of you read it, please get your asses back here afterwards so we can talk about it some more. In the meantime, there’s an extract here, and have a look at the Q&A with author Stephanie Schroeder below.

Continue reading Review & Interview: Beautiful Wreck – Sex, Lies & Suicide

outtakes of a walking mistake, anthony paull

(scheduled post)

I’m not sure a middle aged bipolar butch dyke is the best person to review YA fiction (this is my first go at it), but since I review everything I can find that has bipolar and other mental illness themes, I’m doing it anyway.

You can find the other books I’ve reviewed here.

Continue reading outtakes of a walking mistake, anthony paull

the flying troutmans – miriam toews

This is the fifth book by Miriam Toews that I’ve read, and the fourth I’ve reviewed on this blog. Because of the theme and motivation of my blog, I only review mental/neurobiological illness related stuff.

Continue reading the flying troutmans – miriam toews

swing low: a life – miriam toews

At the age of seventeen, he was diagnosed as suffering from the mental illness known then as manic depression and today as bipolar disorder. His method of self-defence, along with the large amounts of medication he was prescribed, was silence.

Trigger: suicide.

Continue reading swing low: a life – miriam toews

two years & four months in a lunatic asylum – rev. h. chase

We (society) trivialise and disrespect the history of asylums and their patients horribly, by turning them into a freak show for cheap thrills. Happily there are organisations like Asylum Projects that so stuff that do stuff that is both cool and compassionate.

The Reverend Hiram Chase did not enjoy his time at the New York State Asylum in Utica.

Continue reading two years & four months in a lunatic asylum – rev. h. chase