The Unreliable Reader

In Esmé Weijun Wang’s book of personal essays, “The Collected Schizophrenias,” it’s the reader, not the writer, who is an unreliable narrator.

“I write this while experiencing a strain of psychosis known as Cotard’s delusion, in which the patient believes that they are dead,” the novelist Esmé Weijun Wang writes at the beginning of “Perdition Days,” an essay from her new book, The Collected Schizophrenias. (Read an excerpt on Longreads.) “What the writer’s confused state means is not beside the point, because it is the point,” she continues. “I am in here, somewhere: cogito ergo sum.” The passage moves swiftly, from first person agency (“I am writing”) to distanced third person (“the patient,” “the writer”) to the famous Descartes assertion, in Latin, “I think, therefore I am.” As a reader, it’s astonishing and a little unnerving to consider the immediacy of the prose, your intimacy with a speaker searching to find the correct vantage from which to narrate the strangely drawn, difficult-to-map districts of her mind. more

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Are People Starting To Care More About Their Mental Health Than Weight Loss?

When I rounded up the best health books of 2018, I noticed a common theme emerging: Most of them were either directly about mental health or had a strong mental health or brain health component. There’s no doubt about it, this facet of wellness is becoming more and more of a top priority for people all over the world.

When you think about this rise in popularity, it makes sense; our lifestyle changes drastically affect the health of our minds, and in exchange, our mental health greatly affects our ability to make healthy lifestyle choices. Essentially, we need both to be truly healthy.

Knowing this, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that sales of books about mental health are soaring. What might surprise you, however, is that this year they surpassed sales of books about diet and exercise.   more

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