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  • Written by Emma Forrest
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Your Voice in My Head

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A Memoir

Written by Emma ForrestAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Emma Forrest

eBook

List Price: $11.99

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On Sale: May 03, 2011
Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-1-59051-447-4
Published by : Other Press Other Press
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Synopsis

Emma Forrest’s memoir was called “a journey of healing” by Interview magazine and “a beautifully written eulogy for the doctor she credits with saving her life” by Los Angeles Magazine. The book received acclaim from reviewers across the country, the movie rights were snatched up quickly, and Emma herself enchanted audiences at readings in New York and Los Angeles. Brave, brilliantly written, and anchored in the reality of everyday life, Your Voice in My Head is destined to become a classic of the genre.

Excerpt

I was looking for weekend work, and though it was a Saturday job at a hairdresser’s I was after, somewhere in my teenage mind I thought that Ophelia might need a handmaiden. So, every day after school, before my mum got home, I would cycle to the Tate Gallery to visit
Millais’ muse.
   I didn’t want a Saturday job at a hairdresser and bike riding was not my forte, but I was conscious that I was a thirteen-year-old and thirteen-year-olds ride bikes for fun and wash hair for tip money. Later I would understand that disconnect: “This is how and what I am supposed to want, and so I will try.”
   Approaching the Tate, I knew what was coming. I could see Ophelia’s Titian hair, her white body floating down the river, the flowers around her. Sometimes, when I got there, she was dead. Other times she was still dying and could be saved by someone on the riverbank I’d never
seen before. Someone Millais had sketched and then painted over, under the pigment, taking shallow breaths so as not to be seen—a man who’d let her act it out, but who wouldn’t let her drown.
   Though I’d never had sex, there were days when Ophelia seemed to be caught in a sexual act, her arms reached above her, her mouth open, beneath an invisible lover. A long time later—after I’d been in love—I knew that she could not let go on the banks as she drifted by. The flowers beg her stay in the moment. His scent keeps her locked in the past. Those afternoons, the Tate was populated by a combination of the brightly patterned elderly and young, hip gallery patrons in black (the former keeping out of the rain.The latter longing for rain to get caught
in).There was always at least one pickup going on. But mainly, on the leather banquette, in the center of the grand room, I’d sit in front of Millais’ painting, eating a secret bag of crisps, and cry.
Praise

Praise

Your Voice in My Head is part of a literary tradition that began long before Susanna Kaysen’s girlhood was interrupted or Elizabeth Wurtzel got her first Prozac prescription. . . [Forrest is] talented . . . through these words we share her insight: there’s something to be said for occasionally listening to a voice other than your own.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Her psychiatrist dies, then her lover leaves. A memoir about finding strength when you least expect to.” —People Magazine

“[An] admirably airy and riveting book…Emma Forrest is such a winning, smart writer…”—Nick Hornby, The Believer

“If you’re reading one memoir this year, probably make it Emma Forrest’s Your Voice in My Head.” —Jewcy

“A brilliantly realized memoir of surprise and startling beauty.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Emma Forrest is an incredibly gifted writer, who crafted the living daylights out of every sentence in this unforgettable memoir. I can’t remember the last time I ever read such a blistering, transfixing story of obsession, heartbreak and slow, stubborn healing.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

“Emma Forrest is as hilarious as she is wise. And did I mention generous? Unlike most memoirs this is not merely a song of oneself, but a debt of gratitude repaid to an incredible man—her psychiatrist. Your Voice In My Head is touching, funny, and very real.” —Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

“I read Your Voice in My Head in one sitting, by turns laughing out loud, gasping with recognition, and fighting to hold back tears—and wondering, of course, who is Emma Forrest and how is she able to write with such enormous wit and bravery about subjects most folks can’t muster the courage to bring up in conversation: suicide, self-loathing, loneliness, depression, mania, and, most of all, love inexplicably lost.” —Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of A Fortunate Age
  
“Forrest’s insightful and snappily-written account of her lengthy battles against depression, self-harm, damaging relationships, and potato-based fried snacks is heartfelt and touching and surprisingly funny.” —Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, Dazed and Confused
 
“A bittersweet love letter . . . It is a brilliant read.” —Sunday Times Style Magazine 
 
“[Your Voice in My Head] dances along with all the lyrical panache of a novel . . . Her prose is smart and frequently witty and there are echoes of early Lorrie Moore.” —Julie Myerson, The Observer

“Forrest is stylish and evocative; whether she is sick and listless in New York or sex-dipped and radiantly happy in Los Angeles, she writes it cool, clever, and ravaging, in very few strokes. . . Her story is crushing and complicated, and entirely common . . . It's gorgeous.” —The Globe and Mail

Your Voice in My Head is every drink that’s ever started out sweet then turned strong enough to sneak up on you and kick your ass to the floor, or bed, or hell, or heaven.” —Dan Kennedy, author of Loser Goes First, Rock On, and host of The Moth storytelling podcast
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