Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review: Marbles

This is the first graphic memoir I've ever read. Before I picked this book off the new arrival shelf at the library, I hadn't even known that this was a genre. Ellen Forney is an artist who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or manic depression. Through comic strips and other illustrations, she shares her journey from diagnosis through years of medication and struggle. She wrestles with being caught between wanting to have a regulated mood and not wanting her creativity to be stifled. 

The first half dozen pages had be wondering what in the world I had picked up. But I quickly got used to the format and settled in. I read this book in one evening. Without a bedside lamp in my room, I used my phone to light the pages. I wonder if this makes me eligible for my night time book nerd merit badge?

Forney digs into the correlation between artistic creativity and mental illness. Had these now iconic creative minds had access to mood-stabilizing medications, would they have still left the same artistic masterpieces?  Surely many of them would have lived longer, had therapy and meds been available. 

If you know someone who struggles with any form of mania or depression, this is an excellent book to read. Psych majors would love it for sure. I'm glad that it caught my eye and that I spent an evening with Ellen. 

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