Your Voice in My Head
By Emma Forrest
(Other Press, Hardcover, 9781590514467, 224pp.)
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
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Emma Forrest, a British journalist, was just twenty-two and living the fast life in New York City when she realized that her quirks had gone beyond eccentricity. In a cycle of loneliness, damaging relationships, and destructive behavior, she found herself in the chair of a slim, balding, and effortlessly optimistic psychiatrist—a man whose wisdom and humanity would wrench her from the dangerous tide after she tried to end her life. She was on the brink of drowning, but she was still working, still exploring, still writing, and she had also fallen deeply in love. One day, when Emma called to make an appointment with her psychiatrist, she found no one there. He had died, shockingly, at the age of fifty-three, leaving behind a young family. Reeling from the premature death of a man who had become her anchor after she turned up on his doorstep, she was adrift. And when her all-consuming romantic relationship also fell apart, Emma was forced to cling to the page for survival and regain her footing on her own terms.
A modern-day fairy tale, Your Voice in My Head is a stunning memoir, clear-eyed and shot through with wit. In her unique voice, Emma Forrest explores the highs and lows of love and the heartbreak of loss.
Emma Forrest is the author of three novels and editor of the nonfiction essay collection Damage Control. Raised in London, she now lives in Los Angeles, where she is a screenwriter.
“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