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
Release DateNov 14th, 2017
PublisherBeacon Press
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Health, Mental Health

Reviews The Art of Misdiagnosis

  • Leslie Lindsay
    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
    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
    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...
  • Danette V
    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
    Very good read not only about mental illness, but, on how to survive a family member's suicide.
  • Rivera Sun
    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
    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
    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, ...
  • Jane Eaton Hamilton
    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.
  • Clementine Ford
    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.