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How To Be Depressed


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About the Author

George Scialabba is an essayist and literary critic whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The New Republic, The Baffler, The Boston Globe, Dissent, and many other journals. His writings have been collected in five volumes: Slouching Toward Utopia, Low Dishonest Decades, For the Republic, The Modern Predicament, and What Are Intellectuals Good For?


"A new memoir by George Scialabba, an unsung giant of criticism, is a gripping portrait of life under the spell of depression-and also a model of true intellectual inquiry . . . [O]ne is grateful for the characteristically insightful and socially committed thought that Scialabba brings to the thorny issue of clinical depression."-The American Interest

"A remarkable achievement. Assembling a collage of essay, interview, and his own medical records, George Scialabba remakes the memoir of depression. I can't think of another book that is so successful in evoking the relentlessness of recurrent depression. We see it for what it is: painful, tedious, and debilitating, able to interfere with every aspect of life."-Peter D. Kramer, author of Listening to Prozac

"Intentionally or not, this book is a devastating critique of psychiatry. At its center is a brilliant man struggling for decades with intractable depression. While he writhes in agony, his therapists toss out sometimes contradictory diagnoses, try every possible drug, and compulsively recalibrate dosages. But year in and year out, their patient's actual experience continues to elude them. Still, I finished How To Be Depressed with hope that psychiatry can change-if its practitioners are willing to listen, really listen, to patients like Scialabba."-Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Natural Causes

"This is the most shocking report on lifelong depression I have ever read: the depression intractable, the report heartbreaking"-Vivian Gornick, author of The Odd Woman and the City

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