The Monster and the Mirror

Mental Illness, Magic, and the Stories We Tell

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Pub Date Sep 03 2024 | Archive Date Aug 30 2024

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Description

Revelatory memoir and cultural criticism that connects popular fantasy and our perceptions of mental illness to offer an empathetic path to compassionate care

Growing up, K.J. Aiello was fascinated by magical stories of dragons, wizards, and fantasy, where monsters were not what they seemed and anything was possible. These books and films were both a balm and an escape, a safe space where Aiello’s struggle with mental illness transformed from a burden into a strength that could win battles and vanquish villains.

A unique blend of memoir, research, and cultural criticism, The Monster and the Mirror charts Aiello’s life as they try to understand their own mental illness using The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and other stories as both guides to heroism and agency and cautionary tales of how mental illness is easily stereotyped as bad and violent. Aiello questions who is allowed to be “mad” versus “sane,” “good” versus “evil,” and “weak” versus “strong,” and who is allowed to tell their own stories. The Monster and the Mirror explores our perceptions of mental illness in a way that is challenging and tender, empathetic and knowledgeable, and offers a path to deeper understanding and compassionate care.
Revelatory memoir and cultural criticism that connects popular fantasy and our perceptions of mental illness to offer an empathetic path to compassionate care

Growing up, K.J. Aiello was fascinated...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781770417083
PRICE $18.95 (USD)
PAGES 296

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Featured Reviews

This book was everything I hoped it would be. With such a refreshing take on mental health struggles, combined with thorough research and personal anecdotes, this is a must read for everyone. I can only applaud K. J. Aiello for creating for such a phenomenal book. Thank you NetGalley for the copy!

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I thought this memoir element was perfectly done, it had everything that I was looking for and glad it was written perfectly. K.J. Aiello has a great writing style and it was wonderfully done and I enjoyed the story being told.

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