cover image Broken (In the Best Possible Way)

Broken (In the Best Possible Way)

Jenny Lawson. Holt, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-25007-703-5

Lawson (You Are Here) returns with a wry and entertaining take on her battle with depression, anxiety, and rheumatoid arthritis. As always, the author is unrivaled in her ability to use piercing humor and insight to take on heavy subjects. In the poignant “I Already Forgot I Wrote This,” Lawson shares moving reflections on her family’s history of dementia (“My mother jokes about it now and I do too, because you either laugh or you cry”). In “The Things We Do to Quiet the Monsters,” she details the transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment she underwent to cure her medication-resistant mental health issues (“It feels like an invisible chisel drilling holes into your head while you have an ice-cream headache and also you’re paying for it to happen to you“), and she excoriates her insurance provider in “An Open Letter to My Insurance Company”: “you decided that it ‘wasn’t medically necessary’ that I have the drug that had kept me away from suicide.” In “Six Times I’ve Lost My Shoes While Wearing Them,” she chronicles the strange places she’s lost her left shoe after “walking out of it” due to fluctuating ankle swelling from chronic arthritis. The beauty of these essays lies in Lawson’s unfailing hopefulness amid her trials. “After all,” she notes, “we are changed by life... it puts its teeth in us... [it] makes us who we are.” Lawson’s fans are in for a treat. (Apr.)