Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life.

Melody Moezzi. Avery, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-58333-468-3
“Perhaps insanity is inescapable when you separate a soul from its vessel,” muses Iranian-American activist, author, and lawyer Moezzi (War on Error) in her strangely affecting chronicle of living with bipolar disorder. She attributes her affliction to a variety of factors—cultural vertigo, post-9/11 prejudice against Muslims, a rare pancreatic disorder, overwhelming family pressure—and over the years has attempted suicide and suffered from a full-blown manic episode, as well as psychotic breaks. To recreate the gaps in her memory during these traumatic periods, she relies on recollections of friends and family, and her husband’s detailed notes. Some readers may not embrace Moezzi’s bad-girl persona—she stages rebellions in hospital wards and offers strong opinions on a range of subjects—but her vivid descriptions of being pulled against her will in a swirl of impulsivity, hallucinations, and paranoia are riveting. She also uses offbeat humor to criticize the medical profession’s handling of the mentally ill. Her often black-and-white thinking is mercifully softened by abundant gratitude for the saintly patience of her husband, the practicality of her mother, and the wisdom of her Rumi-quoting father. A poetic portrait of life on the lines of sanity and a mind on the edge of cultures. Agent: Ayesha Pande, Ayesha Pande Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/27/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-58333-550-5
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