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Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir (edition 2012)

by Ellen Forney

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Member:ghostwire
Title:Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir
Authors:Ellen Forney
Info:Gotham (2012), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:bipolar, mood disorders, graphic novel, memoir

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Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir by Ellen Forney

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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Forney's graphic account of the diagnosis of her manic depression is fascinating for a couple of reasons. When she was initially diagnosed it wasn't a relief, as it might have been to most of us. As an artist, she really loves her manic phases because she feels so productive, and, well, ARTISTIC! It was surprising to me that it took so long to find the proper mix of meds to keep her balanced--it literally was years before she was on an even keel: still energetic, creative and productive but not off the wall manic. This is very much a non-fiction account of living with manic-depression, and is well worth reading. Highly recommended! ( )
  alexann | May 31, 2014 |
Ellen Forney's unique memoir on her struggle with bipolar disorder tells her story in graphic fashion, giving it humor and immediacy that straight text memoirs can't match.

Forney was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder right before her 30th birthday. Working as an artist for a living, she refused her doctor's recommendation because she feared that meds would disable her creativity. So she went her way until a manic episode ended in crippling depression. Suddenly, she was willing to try lithium.

What I enjoyed about this memoir was her commitment to managing her illness. With journal, charts, drawings, yoga, meds, supplements, exercise, diet--you name it--this girl is ON IT. It's inspiring to see someone embrace responsibility for managing her health. She has clearly accepted that she has this illness for her whole life and she's willing to "go to any lengths" to make the best of it.

I strongly recommend this book for anyone who has bipolar, loves someone who's bipolar, those who aspire to writing graphic memoirs, or voyeurs like me. Forney's great illustrations bring her story home like few other sources: mood disorders, merit badges for enduring the daily routine, and the 16 different meds she took in her search to find the right mix that would stabilize her bipolar are my favorites. The leech phlebotomist is "spot on" to anyone who's spent time in the hospital for any reason, trust me. I'm happy to see I'm not the only person who finds these people just a little too excited about their jobs.

Last part of the book examines whether the stereotype of the crazy artist has any merit. This is where Forney comes to a grand conclusion: I'll leave that for you to discover. ( )
  WordMaven | May 24, 2014 |
Incredible graphic memoir of the author's experience coming to terms with her diagnosis of bipolar illness. Incredible book--a must-read for anyone struggling with or loving someone with bipolar illness.
  mochap | Apr 29, 2014 |
A powerfully moving example of autobiographix. Admittedly, I liked the middle and end of the book more than the beginning, but her admissions of her behavior during those early unmedicated "up" episodes are powerful. Recommended. ( )
  JWarren42 | Oct 10, 2013 |
So well done-the art, the writing, the honesty-it all captures so much of what being bi-polar I is like. As a diagnosed bi-polar II, I relate to so much of her experiences and thoughts and worries. An incredibly reassuring book to read as well as informative for any friends and family of those with the disease. She's also incredibly funny. ( )
1 vote Clare.Davitt | Aug 5, 2013 |
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Dedicated with immense gratitude to my mother & to my psychiatrist
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Every time Owen traced a new line with his needle, I could SEE the sensation--a bright white light, an electrical charge, up and to the right.
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Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic but terrified that medications would cause her to lose her creativity and livelihood, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability without losing herself or her passion. Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the "crazy artist," Ellen found inspiration from the lives and work of other artist and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath.… (more)

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