Strangers to Ourselves

Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us

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Pub Date 13 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2022

Description

A New York Times Book Review Ten Best Books of 2022
A Wall Street Journal Ten Best Books of 2022
A Vulture / New York Magazine Ten Best Books of 2022
One of the best books of the year: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Time, NPR, Washington Post, Bookforum, the New Yorker, Vogue, Kirkus.


The acclaimed, award-winning New Yorker writer Rachel Aviv offers a groundbreaking exploration of mental illness and the mind, and illuminates the startling connections between diagnosis and identity.

In Strangers to Ourselves, a powerful and gripping debut, Rachel Aviv raises fundamental questions about how we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress. Drawing on deep, original reporting as well as unpublished journals and memoirs, Aviv writes about people who have come up against the limits of psychiatric explanations for who they are. She follows an Indian woman, celebrated as a saint, who lives in healing temples in Kerala; an incarcerated mother vying for her children’s forgiveness after recovering from psychosis; a man who devotes his life to seeking revenge upon his psychoanalysts; and an affluent young woman who, after a decade of defining herself through her diagnosis, decides to go off her meds because she doesn’t know who she is without them. Animated by a profound sense of empathy, Aviv’s exploration is refracted through her own account of living in a hospital ward at the age of six and meeting a fellow patient with whom her life runs parallel—until it no longer does.

Aviv asks how the stories we tell about mental disorders shape their course in our lives. Challenging the way we understand and talk about illness, her account is a testament to the porousness and resilience of the mind.

A New York Times Book Review Ten Best Books of 2022
A Wall Street Journal Ten Best Books of 2022
A Vulture / New York Magazine Ten Best Books of 2022
One of the best books of the year: New York Times, ...


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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780374600846
PRICE $28.00 (USD)
PAGES 288

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