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.
"Although Your Voice in My Head begins with her near death, it is ultimately about living… A remarkably honest account of mental health and heartbreak. To her credit, Forrest presents herself as a conflicted, often contrary, young woman, and is happy to give credit to others for helping turn her life around, a stark contrast to the glut of memoirs preaching self-reliance that are trendy these days."
"Quite amazing… I'm tempted to describe the memoir as a small masterpiece, although it might be something more."
"Forrest is stylish and evocative; whether she is sick and listless in New York or sex-dipped and radiantly happy in Los Angeles, she writes it cool, clever and ravaging, in very few strokes."
—The Globe and Mail
"Intensely personal… Forrest's shockingly funny observations are one of the strengths of her writing."
"Her style is more honest and witty than harrowing… It's difficult to write a convincing tale of depression that's also an entertaining romp, but Forrest has done it."
—The Sunday Times
"Smart and frequently witty… there are echoes of early Lorrie Moore in her ability to lampoon the precise detail that tells you all you need to know about a character or situation. [The book] dances along with all the lyrical panache of a novel… Forrest's memoir is frank and acute."
—Julie Myerson, The Observer
"Emma Forrest is as hilarious as she is wise. And did I mention generous? Unlike most memoirs this is not merely a song of oneself, but a debt of gratitude repaid to an incredible man. Your Voice in My Head is touching, funny and very real."
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
"There is a playful beauty to Emma Forrest's voice. Though her memoir is a portrait of a badly sprained soul, Your Voice in my Head is, at its heart, an honest love letter to life."
—Billie Livingston, author of Greedy Little Eyes
"Emma Forrest is an incredibly gifted writer, who crafted the living daylights out of every sentence in this unforgettable memoir. I can't remember the last time I ever read such a blistering, transfixing story of obsession, heartbreak and slow, stubborn healing."
—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
About the Author:
Emma Forrest wrote her first novel, Namedropper, when she was twenty one and has since published two more: Thin Skin and Cherries in the Snow. She has also written for Vogue, Vanity Fair, the Times, the Guardian and the Independent. Emma Forrest lives in Los Angeles.