cover image Shades of Blue: Writers on Depression, Suicide, and Feeling Blue

Shades of Blue: Writers on Depression, Suicide, and Feeling Blue

Edited by Amy Ferris. Seal, $16 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-58005-595-6

The stigma associated with mental health issues leads many people with depression to feel they must face it alone. Ferris (Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis) aims to help people suffering from the disorder feel they are in good company by assembling essays by gifted writers who have all been affected by depression, in themselves or others. The compelling selections include therapist Sherry Amatenstein coping with “sad belly” while forever being the outward-seeming optimist, writer and editor Hollye Dexter dealing with a life-altering house fire, writer Regina Anavy’s doubts about her commitment to radical politics spiraling into an identity crisis in 1971 Cuba, and radio and TV personality Kathryn Rountree recuperating from her brother’s death. Starting off the book is Ferris’s own essay, where she poignantly states her reasons for delving into the topic of depression: by sharing stories and helping others, people with depression can make the pain “bigger than ourselves” and “worth the struggle.” It is possible to find hope and solidarity in these pages, but don’t expect a feel-good trip. It’s a true-to-life kick in the pants designed to bring comfort to anyone who’s feeling hopeless. (Oct.)