The Answer to the Riddle Is Me

The Answer to the Riddle Is Me Cover

The Answer to the Riddle Is Me

A Memoir of Amnesia

By David Stuart MacLean

Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780547519272, 292pp.

Publication Date: January 14, 2014


Brilliant and painful and hilarious. Antonya Nelson

On October 17, 2002, David MacLean woke up on a train platform in India with no idea who he was or why he was there. No money. No passport. No identity.

Taken to a mental hospital by the police, MacLean then started to hallucinate so severely he had to be tied down. Soon he could remember song lyrics, but not his family, his friends, or the woman he was told he loved. All of these symptoms, it turned out, were the result of the commonly prescribed malarial medication he had been taking. Upon his return to the States, he struggled to piece together the fragments of his former life in a harrowing, absurd, and unforgettable journey back to himself.

"The Answer to the Riddle Is Me, "drawn from David MacLean's award-winning "This American Life" essay, is a deeply felt, closely researched, and intensely personal book. It asks every reader to confront the essential questions of our age: In our geographically and chemically fluid world, what makes me who I am? And how much can be stripped away before I become someone else entirely?

About the Author
DAVID STUART MACLEANis a Pen/American award-winning writer. His work has appeared in Ploughshares and on the radio program This American Life. He has a PhD from the University of Houston and is a co-founder of the Poison Pen Reading Series. He lives in Chicago with his wife.