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Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me Paperback – 15 Aug 2013
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Not only does her conversational intimacy draw readers in, but her drawings perfectly capture the exhilarating frenzy of mania and the dark void of depression....Forney's story should resonate with those grappling with similar issues, while her artistry should appeal to a wide readership. (Kirkus (Starred Review))
Ellen Forney's memoir of her bipolar diagnosis and long pharmacopic trek toward balance is painfully honest and joyously exuberant. Her drawings evoke the neuron-crackling high of mania and the schematic bleakness of depression with deft immediacy. Forney is at the height of her powers as she explores the tenuous line between mood disorders and creativity itself. (Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home.)
Forney's exhilarating and enlightening autobiographical portrait of her bipolar disorder (otherwise known as manic depression), takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster, an authentic evocation of the author's journey. Her clear and thoughtful art provides a powerful, effective and brilliant illumination of this unforgettable adventure. (Miami Herald)
Marbles isn't just a great story; it's proof that artists don't have to be tortured to be brilliant. (Entertainment Weekly)
Dense with intellectual and emotional power, Forney's book is a treasure--as a memoir, as an artwork, and as a beautifully conceived and executed commentary on both mental experience and the creative life. With wit, humor, a wicked sense of the absurd, and eloquent insight into the beauty that shines through the mercurial life of the mind, this graphic memoir explores its subject with a particular precision and power. Forney should be read. (Marya Hornbacher, bestselling author of Madness: A Bipolar Life)
Humorous, insightful and occasionally outrageous graphic memoir of an artist suffering from (but enjoying) bipolar disorder.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
It's a wonderful, insightful, moving book, at times funny (Forney has an infectious zest for life and wicked sense of humour - I defy you not to fall in love with her a little bit) and at others gut-wrenching. Forney is a brilliant artist and the medium of the graphic novel is used well to depict the whirling, zany highs of mania and the crushing lows of depression. Definitely one to buy, read, and then tell all your friends about.
I can see this book joining the shelves of community self-help libraries - right next to Bryan Talbot's `The Tale of One Bad Rat' and its account of recovery from child abuse.
It is introspective. It repeats the text book, but her life is text book. It does not explore the furthest reaches - there is nothing for instance like my friend's account of her bipolar experiences where something terrible was lurking in the cupboard that had only to get out and would make her kill herself.
But it does say from direct experience what her life is like from the inside. It does speak honestly. It does have some good drawings - and when she is high she is very high so the drawings are very high too. And it does acknowledge that cannabis and meds for bipolar disorder perhaps do not mix very well.
Ellen Forney started to write Marbles in 2008, ten years after the events that she tells about actually took place. She has been able to look back, with honesty, and with a little humour on what was an extremely difficult, challenging time in her life. Her pain and distress are captured in the cartoon images of herself. Her usually bright face with the Betty Boop eyes changes as the illness grips her, and at times she depicts herself so vividly that it is almost painful to see how she imagined herself, and her life.
Her battle against the medication regime, worrying that pills would kill her creativity. Her research into other artists through the years who have suffered, and her comparisons to their lives. Her discovery of yoga, her conversations with her psychiatrist, with herself, with her family and friends. All of these are here, in full detail and the pain shines through.
Marbles is a wickedly funny, yet painfully truthful look at how bi-polar affects a person, and those around them. Ellen Forney has not hidden anything, and faced her challenges head-on. The book is frank, honest and funny. The illustrations are hard-hitting and at times, desperately sad.
A book that pulls the reader in from the very first page, it is an illuminating read that looks honestly at bi-polar and how one extraordinary woman coped.
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