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The Edge of Every Day: Sketches of Schizophrenia (Paperback)
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Against the starkly beautiful backdrop of Anchorage, Alaska, where she grew up, Marin Sardy weaves an extraordinarily affecting, fiercely intelligent account of the shapeless thief—the schizophrenia—that kept her mother immersed in a world of private delusion and later also manifested in her brother, ultimately claiming his life.
Composed of exquisite, self-contained chapters that take us through three generations of this adventurous, artistic, and often haunted family, The Edge of Every Day draws in topics from neuroscience and evolution to the mythology and art rock to shape its brilliant inquiry into how the mind works. In the process, Sardy casts new light on the treatment of the mentally ill in our society. Through it all runs her blazing compassion and relentless curiosity, as her meditations takes us to the very edge of love and loss—and signal the arrival of an important new literary voice.
About the Author
Marin Sardy’s essays and criticism have appeared in Tin House, Guernica, The Rumpus, Fourth Genre, The Missouri Review, ARTnews, and Art Ltd., as well as in two award-winning photography books, Landscape Dreams and Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby. She has also been the arts editor-in-chief at Santa Fe’s Santa Fean magazine. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Sardy has twice had her work listed among the year’s notable essays in Best American Essays. She lives in Tucson, Arizona. www.marinsardy.com
“Beautifully prismatic. . . . [A] blazing memoir.” —NPR
“An astonishing, essential read.” —BuzzFeed
“[A] beautiful and tragic memoir.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Accomplished. . . . Offers a glimpse of the reality of living with schizophrenia and the multiplicities and contradictions that accompany the disease.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A powerful examination of intergenerational mental illness, an incisive criticism of the treatment of mentally ill in society and in the healthcare system, and a poignant ode to love and family.” —Bustle
“Heartbreaking. . . . With lyrical descriptions and a creative, nonlinear structure that mimics the erratic nature of schizophrenia—the book’s form shifts from prose to disembodied lists—Sardy traces the course that mental illness has cut through her family.” —Outside
“A revelation. . . . Deeply moving. . . . A tribute to the associative workings of the human brain. . . . The legacy of Sardy’s writing is that you take that desperate hope and desire out into the world with you, beyond the page. This book changed how I thought about schizophrenia in a way first-person accounts couldn’t do.” —E.B. Bartels, Electric Literature
“Essential. . . . Sardy traces the path of the schizophrenia that runs through three generations in her family.” —HelloGiggles
“Crafts something moving, painful and touching out of the chaos.” —Paste, The Best Nonfiction Books of 2019 (So Far)
“Poignant. . . . Harrowing. . . . Remarkable and powerful . . . Along with challenging stereotypes, Sardy conveys the ways mental illness can fracture lives and communities, all while emphasizing the humanity of those affected.” —Shondaland
“Deeply affecting. . . . Any reader of this intelligent, deeply felt and beautifully written book will come away with a greater understanding of what it is to live with mental illness.” —Anchorage Daily News
“[An] intimate, multigenerational memoir. . . . A deeply compassionate book about what it means to love someone who is mentally ill—about how hard it is to truly understand another person’s mind and the importance of continuing to try. . . . [A] tender, heart-rending book.” —Undark Magazine
“Narratively compelling and exquisitely written but, perhaps more importantly, infused with love and empathy. . . . A textured and nuanced tapestry that is both deeply personal [and] universally moving.” —Santa Fe Reporter
“Succeeds brilliantly. . . . Should be required reading for mental health professionals.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“An extraordinarily ambitious and accomplished narrative. . . . Illuminat[es] mental illness from the inside out. . . . Both powerful and disturbing. . . . [An] impressive debut.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)