The Glass Eye by Jeannie Vanasco

The Glass Eye

The night before her father dies, eighteen-year-old Jeannie Vanasco promises she will write a book for him. But this isn't the book she imagined. The Glass Eye is Jeannie's struggle to honor her father, her larger-than-life hero but also the man who named her after his daughter from a previous marriage, a daughter who died.After his funeral, Jeannie spends the next decade in escalating mania, in and out of hospitals—increasingly obsessed with t...

Details The Glass Eye

TitleThe Glass Eye
Release DateOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherTin House Books
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Mental Health, Mental Illness

Reviews The Glass Eye

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I wanted to read this because of the connection to grief and fathers. It took a long time to read, but it isn't particularly long - I think the way everything is in fragments, the way the events and thoughts cycle and repeat, and the way Jeannie stops and steps back and considers what she has written on a pretty frequent basis - all these elements make the book feel longer than it probably needs to be.The element of mental illness is rough to rea...
  • Claire Fuller
    I loved this memoir about Vanasco's grief which spirals into mental illness after the death of her father. Although, perhaps the mental illness was there all along, it just took the death for it to properly manifest itself. This is something that Vanasco discusses in a wonderfully round-about way. The book is broken up into many very short pieces, all of which build and gather to give a really intimate view of what life is like for the author, an...
  • Rachel
    Grief, Jeannie Vanasco writes in The Glass Eye, is inexplicable. To really describe it, one must often approach it adjacently through metaphor, as Vanasco does in her attempts to piece together the story of her unravelling after her father’s death. How can words adequately represent the oceans of pain that swell and drown us? How can we make sense of grief, which often renders us senseless? How does one capture the magnitude of loss?Vanasco str...
  • Mike
    A deeply affecting chronicle of grief and obsession, written in lucid, graceful prose.
  • Chandra Graham Garcia
    Memoirs about mental illness and grieving are NOT supposed to be trending. But memoirist Jeannie Vanasco doesn't care. Indeed, her commitment to grief and overcoming mental illness are compulsions inseparable from the crafting of her story. And....vice versa.Craft is ever-present as Vanasco propels us--in swift, linear fashion--through a three-dimensional web of twentysomething dangers: overachievement, the loss of a parent, confusion of self, th...
  • Jamie
    An absolutely beautiful exploration of family, grief, memory, and madness, this book is OUTSTANDING.
  • Barbara (The Bibliophage)
    3.5 strong stars.Jeannie Vanasco bares her soul in The Glass Eye: A Memoir. There were times it made me squirm with discomfort. But it also touched my heart and made me appreciate her willingness to be vulnerable.The narrative thread is more of a spaghetti-like jumble of disparate elements. Vanasco illustrates both her writing process and her mental illness by jumping around thematically and chronologically. And yet, she finds a way to move forwa...
  • Leslie Lindsay
    A dark and gripping memoir about the intricacies of grief, obsession, madness, and more. When I came across a write-up of THE GLASS EYE: A Memoir, in a recent-ish POETS & WRITERS magazine, I knew I had to read it. And I'm so glad I did. Jeannie Vanasco's father died when she was an 18-year old college freshman. It's this catastrophic event that sends her into a spiraling tailspin, triggering her mental illness. Jeannie becomes obsessed with her f...
  • Stephanie
    This book took my breath away. I read it in one sitting; I didn't want to turn away. I keep returning to the scenes, the sentences, the words and marveling at what Jeannie Vanasco has accomplished. I feel privileged that she shared her father's story - and her story - with the world.
  • Helen Zuman
    I read the first few pages of The Glass Eye a few days ago; then, a couple nights later, I took it to bed with me and stayed up way too late to finish it. Yup, it's gripping.Initially, I didn't expect this book to be a page-turner, thanks to its many section breaks and its pauses for meta-narration. But, despite its gentle fracturing, the story hews to a strong chronological through-line (the protagonist's journey through her father's death and h...
  • Squirrel Circus
    So, the universe owed me a REALLY good book this week, after a few so-so choices, and The Glass Eye definitely delivered. I raced through the 270+ pages in only a few days... Jeannie Vanasco has written a memoir that I find so incredibly moving and meaningful that I am wondering a little if I feel so strongly about it because I closely identify with her mental "unraveling" that takes places alongside of her grief over the loss of father. What mak...
  • Yadi (
    It really did feel like I was on this journey with Jeannie as she struggled to write what she needed to say yet still trying to figure things out. The small vignette style was a great way to demonstrate that struggle, while the larger blocks of paragraphs demonstrated memories, which were the only certain things Jeannie knew. I would definitely be interested in reading more by Vanasco.
  • Jenny
    Wow. This isn't a book I would normally pick up since I don't love memoir, but I have had such an awesome experience with Tin House's Galley Club that I gave it a go. So glad I did. Tin House strikes again. This is a beautiful book about grief, mental illness, and resiliency.
  • Kristin Boldon
    Blew me away. I read parts aloud to my husband. Such a complex story, told in a fascinating way, alternating among topics. Funny, scary, sad, and enthralling.
  • Megan
    Beautiful. Simply beautiful.
  • Jean
    A unique approach on memoir. Very interesting correlations, coincidences and alliterations. I really appreciated the author’s insight and journey. My name is really Jeannie, but I go by Jean.
  • Candice
    4.5 out of 5. As a writer, I found the structure, approach, and short, disjointed sections fascinating and effective, particularly when trying to convey her mental illness and holes in her memory. As someone who also experienced the death of someone I loved when I was quite young, her attempts to make sense of her long-term grief also resonated. One of the best examples of craft in a memoir that I’ve ever read, largely because it eschews a trad...
  • Brittany
    Probably one of the hardest memoirs I’ve read so far. I think it hits on an incredibly relatable level. Both pieces - her coping with the death of her father (her everything for a long period of her life) coupled with her mental illness (exacerbated by grief). It’s incredibly powerful in its honesty and painfully vivid at times which can be overwhelming. She sprinkles in her own blend of humor (abs) and allows the narrative to lighten as well...
  • Erik Eckel
    The Glass Eye is a sincere, innovative and important new memoir thanks to Vanasco’s frank and enlightening exploration of mental illness. Various passages struck me as simultaneously intense and rewarding. I was sorry to come to the end but hopeful the memoir’s publication provides the author the catharsis she requires and of which she appears so deserving.
  • Trisha Perry
    Jeannie Vanasco's first book is a tribute to her father and a long dark trip for her. It span from a promise she made to her dying father before she was forced back to school thinking she would be back in a few days for the weekend to see him again, only to find out he died while she was on the train back to school, and that sparks her long dark journey of with her own demons and some of her dads before this books will end, but will Jeannie with ...
  • Sheena
    I picked this up at an airport and read it during two consecutive flights. I wish every spur of the moment purchase was so good. Initially, I got it because of the theme of a daughter grieving her father. It ended up as an interesting study in obsession, mental health, and family. One of my favorite things was how the personalities of deceased characters were examined and built out of the wide ranges of experiences that other people had with them...
  • Solia Martinez-Jacobs
    I was sent an Advanced Readers Copy, as part of the Book of the Month Reader's committee. Jeannie Vanasco weaves a tangled narrative about her father, grief, her own mental health, and the struggle of being named after her dead half sister. Although the plot summary is so fantastic that the book sounds like a work of fiction, it is in fact, a memoir. The narrative is best described as experimental: she talks about her writing process, where she v...
  • Lisa
    This is an interesting memoir that addresses grief, mental illness, writing, and how they all intersect with one another.
  • Kim Gausepohl
    Frenetic and fragmented and absolutely perfect.
  • Y.Z.
    When I was young and books literally saved my life, I thought of them as sacred objects. I regained some of what that felt like when I read The Glass Eye. This is a book crafted with infinite care, filled with so much heart and soul. It is affecting. In the book you find out that the writer, when young, wanted to be a nun. You can see the devotion here. You have to admire Jeannie's attention to every line, every word. (Another note about details:...
  • Kathy
    The Glass Eye: A memoir is an exceptional book. The author gives a brutally honest and intimate look at her life; her grief at the loss of her father, her compulsion with finding out about the dead half-sister she was named after, her family, her madness. Interesting throughout, it was sometimes difficult to read, "seeing" her madness as those around her do, but which she passes off as strictly grief. I admire the author's willingness to show her...
  • Stacey
    This book is going to be popular. That doesn't mean it's great. It's an interesting look at mental illness and grief but the author's attempt at an alternative form falls flat. There also seems to be a disconnect, the author talks about her life as if she can barely function within it yet she also manages to get an internship at the Paris Review and keep it. There was something that really bugged me about how she was exploiting herself and acting...
  • Rachel MacGrath
    I've fallen into a bit of a reading slump as of late. Since I was in a slump, I tried to stop buying books. However, I also wanted to get out of the reading slump, so I indulged in this book - where the cover and premise caught my attention. It took me longer than it typically would to get through it - which made the purchase seem a little counterintuitive - but, eventually, I made it through. I think the reason this story worked so well is that ...
  • Julia
    Jeannie Vanasco is just eighteen when her father dies. On his deathbed, she promises to write him a book– a promise that will become a decade-long obsession, and will ultimately culminate in (but by no means end with) The Glass Eye. What Vanasco manages is the seemingly impossible feat of translating her mania and severe depression into a somewhat linear memoir. She writes of the discovery that her father had another daughter, named Jeanne, who...