A Memoir of Anxiety
By Daniel Smith
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781439177303, 212pp.)
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
List Price: $25.00*
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Anxiety once paralyzed Daniel Smith over a roast beef sandwich, convincing him that a choice between ketchup and barbeque sauce was as dire as that between life and death. It has caused him to chew his cuticles until they bled, wear sweat pads in his armpits, and confess his sexual problems to his psychotherapist mother. It has dogged his days, threatened his sanity, and ruined his relationships.
In Monkey Mind, Smith articulates what it is like to live with anxiety, defanging the disease with humor, traveling through its demonic layers, and evocatively expressing its self-destructive absurdities and painful internal coherence. With honesty and wit, he exposes anxiety as a pudgy, weak-willed wizard behind a curtain of dread and tames what has always seemed to him, and to the tens of millions of others who suffer from anxiety, a terrible affliction.
Aaron Beck, the most influential doctor in modern psychotherapy, says that “Monkey Mind does for anxiety what William Styron’s Darkness Visible did for depression.” Neurologist and bestselling writer Oliver Sacks says, “I read Monkey Mind with admiration for its bravery and clarity. . . . I broke out into explosive laughter again and again.” Here, finally, comes relief and recognition to all those who want someone to put what they feel, or what their loved ones feel, into words.
The Science Friday Book Club reconvenes this week to talk about Monkey Mind--writer Daniel Smith's personal account of his severe anxiety. Kirkus Reviews calls the book "a true treasure-trove of insight laced with humor and polished prose." Call in and share your review. Peer into the anxious mind of writer Daniel Smith with the SciFri Book Club. More at NPR.org
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