If your interested in learning a little bit of what goes on in the minds of those with addictions or mental health issues, Writers On The Edge is a good place to start. It gives you a glimpse of many addictions and mental health afflictions. You hear from the dependent or sick person, instead of from the medical professional's, clinical point of view. Writers On The Edge by Diana M. Raab and James Brown, editors, 2012.
Although I'm not a huge fan of excerpts, I really enjoyed the various author's personal stories & poems. Many of the excerpts made me want to go and find the original full story to read and enjoy. The poetry, although just as deep, was a needed relief from the stark reality of the author's sometimes disturbing experiences.
I also enjoyed the glimpse of times gone by from many of the storytellers. Many of them growing up in the 50's and 60's with addicted or mentally ill family members. Being able to see the difference in how families and society dealt with addiction, when there really wasn't a word for addiction.
I also liked the variances in addiction & dependency. From the well known addiction to alcohol to the over-eater to the mentally ill. And of course some of the many reasons why people become addicted. Whether it is genetics, a way to get some relief from their personal demons or simply just for fun.
There were 2 stories that hit home and made me feel as though I wanted to read the stories in their entirety.
The first was, A Better Place To Live, by Maud Casey. This excerpt was about Maud Casey and her battle with depression. Part of a line that struck me was "Being depressed felt like living in a corpse", (pg. 117). Perfect in the sense that it was a description that has eluded many people in the past. One sentence tells it all.
The second was from the memoir, Instructions On The Use Of Alcohol by James Brown. I loved how he wrote as though he was a third party observer. Instead of as the person who went through the drug addiction. In opinion, it could have been a way for him to write honestly or authentically. Writing as an observer may have been easier than writing and therefore having to relive his addictions again?
I give Writers On The Edge 4/5. (I was given this book in exchange for this review, but this did not influence my rating, or like/dislike of this book.)
Contest Closed *If you would like a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of Writers On The Edge. Click here for full contest information. Contest starts May 18th, 2012. Contest closes, May 25th, 2012, EST. Open to residents of Canada, the United States & the United Kingdom.
Till next time,