The Art of Misdiagnosis by Gayle Brandeis

The Art of Misdiagnosis

Award-winning novelist and poet Gayle Brandeis's wrenching memoir of her complicated family history and her mother's suicideGayle Brandeis's mother disappeared just after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found: she had hanged herself in the utility closet of a Pasadena parking garage. In this searing, formally inventive memoir, Gayle describes the dissonance between being a new mother, a sweet-smelling infa...


Details The Art of Misdiagnosis

TitleThe Art of Misdiagnosis
ISBN9780807044865
Author
Release DateNov 14th, 2017
PublisherBeacon Press
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Health, Mental Health, Biography
Rating

Reviews The Art of Misdiagnosis

  • Rene Denfeld
    2018-06-06
    I can't believe I haven't reviewed this book until now—I was lucky to read an advanced copy. As someone who lost multiple family members to suicide, I found this to be an outstanding memoir. Brandeis is a gifted writer, capturing the terror, the complexity, the grief of losing loved ones to suicide.
  • Leslie Lindsay
    2017-11-08
    Razor-sharp, raw, poetic memoir about mothers and daughters, suicide, mental illness, and grief. Gayle Brandeis's mother disappeared shortly after Gayle gave birth to her youngest child. Several days later, her body was found hanging in the utility closet of parking garage of an apartment building for the elderly.THE ART OF MISDIAGNOSIS is a gorgeous read about a less-glamorous time. Gayle is struggling with grief and heartache, as well as the so...
  • Jordan
    2017-12-26
    A brilliant and harrowing peek back through the author's childhood illness, exaggerated and fostered by her brilliant but mentally ill mother who ultimately dies by suicide. Brandeis writes with a poet's beauty and a journalist's keen observation, making herself vulnerable as she pieces together the threads of her mother's mind as it intersected with her own health and sense of self. A beautiful, insightful, powerful memoir.
  • Sue
    2017-12-18
    Wow. I read the first line, “After my mother hangs herself, I become Nancy Drew,” and didn’t look up until I was 80 pages in. I looked up and dove back in again. This memoir about Brandeis’ mother’s suicide and so much more is a work of art. The title comes from the title of a documentary film her mother worked on for years. Gayle and her sister Elizabeth were both sick as teenagers, their suffering exacerbated by doctors who couldn’t...
  • Susan DeFreitas
    2018-02-21
    Too often, we ignore difficult emotions and hard conversations--until we have no choice but to confront them, which is what happened for Gayle Brandeis when her mother committed suicide. And while that's not a situation (thankfully) that many of us will ever face, the author's honest, moving, and at times even funny reckoning with her larger-than-life mother is something all of us can learn from. In giving ourselves permission to, in the unintent...
  • Tim Cummings
    2018-05-20
    This book is a bloodletting, soaked with emotion so palpable it feels like a gentle violence. It is gorgeously rendered by author Brandeis; a paean to the power of healing through writing.
  • Danette V
    2017-11-29
    This was a painful read, and I don’t know how she brought herself to share so much. But I do appreciate her candor and found so much of her journey interesting, and certain areas are just fascinating. Her writing is style is sophisticated and poetic, and I found her skill set combined with the often dark subject matter to be an interesting aspect in and of itself.
  • Susan Walker
    2017-11-22
    Very good read not only about mental illness, but, on how to survive a family member's suicide.
  • Rivera Sun
    2017-11-26
    A strangely fascinating journey that grips you from the start and doesn't let go until you feel as if you know the whole family personally. The unraveling of her mother's (and her own) life yields insights for all of us. It took great courage to write this book, and share it with all of us. The story starts with her mother's suicide and takes you down the rabbit hole of mental health issues. Gayle Brandeis uses scorching honesty and her gift for ...
  • Katie Devine
    2017-11-21
    A lyrical, searing memoir about sudden and devastating loss, this is one 2017 book not to be missed. Moving between the time surrounding her mother's suicide and a posthumous letter to her mother, Gayle Brandeis has drilled into the center of complicated maternal loss in her beautiful poet's prose. She has also inserted transcripts of a documentary her mother created surrounding medical misdiagnoses, offering necessary insight into her mother's m...
  • Romalyn Tilghman
    2017-11-16
    As an ardent fan of Gayle Brandeis' words, I pre-ordered the book and had it delivered on publication day. Then sat down and devoured it. The subject is difficult, no doubt about it, but in the end, this poignant memoir says far more about life than it does about death. Relationships are complex, as often "misdiagnosed" as the maladies of our bodies. As great writers do, the author captures the most specific details to underline universal truth, ...
  • Lauralee Woodruff
    2017-12-01
    Actually a 3 and a half. Kind of a choppy read, slow going for me, but real and, perhaps because I'm a therapist, familiar.
  • Lynn Pribus
    2018-04-07
    When I saw two copies on the new book shelf, I figured it must be a well-reviewed book. although I'd never heard of it. It was a compelling, but uneasy book. about a writing teacher/published author dealing with her mother's suicide.You know this from the start. The book braids her history of serious untreated mental health problems, a TV documentary the mother was producing dealing with underdiagnosed illnesses, and the daughter's past history a...
  • Pam Parker
    2018-02-25
    Lyrical language plus a daughter trying to understand her mother's suicide does not sound like the formula for a good read. But, it is in the hands of the right author. Gayle Brandeis leads the reader into her family dynamics, with three strong women -- her mother, Gayle and her sister. Her mother's untreated mental illness is the background noise as Brandeis explores the tangled threads of illness affecting each of them -- physical/mental, real,...
  • Lauren DePino
    2018-05-18
    I saw Gayle Brandeis read from her memoir, The Art of Misdiagnosis, at the Last Bookstore recently. I bought the book that night and when I got home, I immediately reread the passage she had read that made me cry. I still do. It starts on page 183, in case you’re curious. Gayle’s writing is like music and her story is unforgettable. She’s weathered the effects of her mother’s mental illness with forgiveness and pureness of heart. There’...
  • Kristen
    2018-06-27
    This was an incredibly tragic story of a mom who died by suicide and her daughter's search for meaning in her actions. Despite being an intense story, it felt disjointed - I wasn't always sure what one thing had to do with another and how all of the pieces fit together (or didn't). It was partially about physical health - both the author's mom's health and her own - and partially about mental health. And while these are inextricably bound, that w...
  • Woodstock Pickett
    2018-02-21
    Fascinating story and a compelling read about a complicated relationship between mother and daughters. The author weaves into her story excerpts from a screenplay for an unfinished documentary her mother was working on at the time of her death. I found these insertions somewhat disruptive and I don't think I understand their presence in the larger book. Downrated to four stars because of my confusion on that issue
  • Dorothy Collins
    2018-03-06
    This is riveting read about growing up with a mentally ill parent. Ms. Brandeis mother was obviously an intelligent and driven woman who was mentally ill but seemingly never diagnosed. The book details the extreme circumstances of the effects of her illness on her two daughters and Brandeis' coming to terms with the lose of her mother not only as a child due to her erratic behavior but also as an adult and new mother herself.
  • Jane Eaton Hamilton
    2018-01-14
    What if the best thing and the worst thing that can happen to a person happen in the same week? The memoirist's son is born and her mom commits suicide a week apart, and for Gayle and her family, nothing is unaltered. The Art of Misdiagnosis is a harrowing, searing book, as much for the beauty of Gayle's writing, which causes the text move into you like a weapon, and for its topic, a child's mournful cry for her disturbed mother.
  • Andi
    2018-03-05
    Friends, get this memoir. Get it because it's beautiful, because it's haunting, because it's truthful without being cruel. Get it because it will teach you how to do all these things in your writing and life, too. I am a bit biased since I get to call Gayle friend, but this is one of the best memoirs I've ever read.
  • Clementine Ford
    2018-01-20
    I gave 4 stars because I think she did what she set out to do and did it beautifully. The last half flew by and I really could not stop reading. My only issues were that the last few sections felt rushed and, at times, I found the structure distracting. Highly recommend it though. Well worth your time.
  • Tracy McQuay
    2018-01-14
    Powerful memoir with an intimate and honest look into mental illness and the impact it has on a family. I loved the layering of narrative, letters to her mother, and excerpts from her mother’s documentary. Brandeis does not shy away from sharing her most personal stories nor does she use devices like humor or sarcasm to cover her vulnerability. Thank you, Gayle.
  • Susan Elizabetha
    2018-07-03
    I received a an advanced reading copy of this book through Goodreads. I didn't enjoy this book. It is a tragic and sad memoir of mental illness and suicide. That said, I got nothing from this book. And can't recommend this book.
  • Joyful Mimi
    2018-07-16
    I almost did not share a review of this book. Because of my reference point as a psychologist and psychotherapist, I likely did not experience this read like most others. Its a sad story but I found myself mostly being frustrated. Enough said.
  • June
    2018-01-14
    Riveting, a tender, ferocious, and engrossing story of surviving her mother's suicide. I’m not sure how Brandeis does it but she manages to write this heart-breaking memoir with care, humor, and many, many moments of transcendent grace.
  • Terri
    2018-02-10
    Such a good book. Beautifully written, heartbreaking tale of a daughter with a delusional mother who commits suicide. Both of their struggles were so well rendered.
  • Stephanie
    2018-02-18
    2.5. Not to diminish a memoir that was obviously traumatic for her.
  • Kim
    2018-03-13
    meh.
  • Leslie
    2017-11-30
    3.5 stars
  • Donna Baier-Stein
    2017-12-04
    Beautifully written, candid, and psychologically wise. An important memoir to be out in the world, for many reasons. I admire the author's courage, empathy, and skill.