From the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars: a poignant, searching memoir about one man's fall into depression in the wake of a national tragedy, and his brave struggle to return to normalcy.
Like most of the country and the world, David Guterson woke up on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, not thinking history was about to change. He was in Washington, D.C., with a group of fellow writers, evaluating grant applications for the National Endowment of the Arts. But before their work day had even begun, the Pentagon was bombed; the Twin Towers were down in New York City; and havoc was wreaked irrevocably on our collective sense of happiness, security, and national pride. Scrambling to get out of the city and back home any way he could, David, along with two fellow writers, rented a car and drove 2,600 miles across the country to Seattle. But the attacks triggered something inside him, a pervasive feeling of hopelessness, fear, despair--a clinical depression that that would not go away. He lost interest in his work, family, friends--his life. Inspired by William Styron's masterful Darkness Visible, Guterson's Descent is the searing account of one man's envelopment by the darkest of human emotions, and his tunneling out. Powerful, intense, and deeply felt, it is at once personal and universally illuminating--a confession from a great literary mind who takes us on a journey of what it feels like, and means, to lose one's grasp on the world--and to find it once more, even if by fumbling in the dark.
About David Guterson
David Guterson is the author of five novels: Snow Falling on Cedars, which won the PEN/Faulkner and the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award; East of the Mountains; Our Lady of the Forest, a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times and Seattle Post- Intelligencer Best Book of the Year; The Other; and Ed King. He is also the author of a previous story collection, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind; a poetry collection, Songs for a Summons; and two works of nonfiction, Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense and Descent: A Memoir of Madness. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he lives in Washington State.