The Black Veil (Paperback)

A Memoir with Digressions

By Rick Moody

Back Bay Books, 9780316739016, 352pp.

Publication Date: May 12, 2003

List Price: 18.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

In this astonishingly inventive book, Moody tells the story of his collapse and recovery in an inspired journey through what it means to be young and confused, older and confused, guilty, lost, and healed.

In his early 20s, a lifetime of excess left Rick Moody suddenly stranded in a depression so profound that he feared for his life. A stay in a psychiatric hospital was just the first step out of mental illness. In this astonishingly inventive book, Moody tells the story of his collapse and recovery in an inspired journey through what it means to be young and confused, older and confused, guilty, lost, and healed.

Woven through his own story, Moody also traces his family's paternal line, looking for clues to his own melancholy -- in particular to one ancestor, Reverend Joseph Moody, about whom Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote an archetypal story of shame called The Minister's Black Veil. In a brilliant display that is no less than a literary tour de force, Moody ties past and present, family legend, and serious scholarship into a book that will draw comparisons not just to recent memoirs by Dave Eggers and Martin Amis but to forebears like Nabokov's Speak, Memory.


About the Author

Rick Moody was born in New York City. He attended Brown and Columbia Universities. He is the author of four previous novels: The Four Fingers of DeathPurple AmericaThe Ice Storm, and Garden State, as well as an award-winning memoir and multiple collections of short fiction. Moody is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, and his work has been anthologized in Best American StoriesBest American Essays, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.