I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying by Bassey Ikpi

I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying

A deeply personal collection of essays exploring Nigerian-American author Bassey Ikpi’s experiences navigating Bipolar II and anxiety throughout the course of her life.Bassey Ikpi was born in Nigeria in 1976. Four years later, she and her mother joined her father in Stillwater, Oklahoma —a move that would be anxiety ridden for any child, but especially for Bassey. Her early years in America would come to be defined by tension: an assimilation...

Details I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying

TitleI'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying
Release DateAug 20th, 2019
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Essays, Autobiography, Memoir, Health, Mental Health, Psychology

Reviews I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying

  • Akwaeke Emezi
    Look, I've been reading Bassey Ikpi's work for a smooth ten years, thanks to the Internet. She's been a vital voice for so many of us who live with neurodivergence, throughout our darkest moments, whispering for us to allow ourselves morning. She's even mentioned by name in Freshwater! Now, this book of hers, this collection? It blew me the entire fuck away. It's brilliant, intimate, and so vulnerable! Bassey is a storyteller to her bones and it ...
  • Thomas
    A powerful story about Nigerian American author Bassey Ikpi’s experiences navigating her newfound Bipolar II diagnosis, as well as the anxiety she faced throughout her life. I most enjoyed this book’s profound honesty, like Ikpi’s initial refusal to accept her diagnosis when she learned about it, how she just could not fathom having to take medication for Bipolar II for the rest of her life. As someone in the mental health field and as some...
  • Dolly
    I have never read a memoir quite like this. Such powerful prose, almost poetic in how it engaged not just my mind but also my soul. I could not put this down - it just held on to me and I ripped through in two evenings. While I haven't experienced much of what Bassey Ikpi has, she tells her story in such a raw and riveting way that I felt her journey in my being. I learned so much about mental illness, as she has experienced it, and about myself,...
  • lisa
    I started reading this the day I got my ARC from the publishers, and I had a hard time putting it down to do basic things like eat and sleep and breathe. This was such an incredible memoir, with Bassey Ikpi being as upfront about her lack of memories as is possible to be. I thought she did a stunning and honest job of weaving something out of the vague (possibly false?) memories of her childhood, and the stories she has heard about her life since...
  • BookOfCinz
    I was simply storing up my tears, I would need them later. Somehow I knew this. I am speechless and in tears after reading Bassey Ikpi's I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying . Reading this collection of deeply personal essays was like picking up your best friend's well written diary and getting genuine and utterly vulnerable look into their life. I am blown away by not only well written, utterly beautiful and moving the writing is, but how Ikpi...
  • Chris MacDonald-Dennis
    What can I say about a book that touched my soul so deeply? First, Ikpi's experience with mental illness and difficult family dynamics allowed me a path to think about my own life and how my mental illness has impacted me. There were times that I literally had to put the book down because her words forced me (in a good way) to face things that I had tried to push aside. I found myself having more empathy for myself, which is something that does n...
  • Shannon Wright
    This is a searing, lyrical piece of work: Bassey Ikpi started her career as a poet, and it shows as she finds music in heartbreaking moments. There are lines that will make you laugh out loud (“I still hate yoga, it’s like a game of Simon Says that no one ever wins”) and descriptions so evocative they make you freeze: a sweater is burgundy, “the color of Anne’s raspberry cordial,” and that one line captures a type of girl that, if you...
  • Saitonne
    Heartbreakingly honest, navigating these experiences, this life of pain and yet love lingers in every memory in some way. Such a penetrating insight into her world. A necessary read. Also, it made me cry
  • Saloni
    Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me a copy of this book at BEA 2019 and thank you to Bassey Ikpi for signing my copy!I thought this was a phenomenal read. Bassey Ikpi has beautifully written her story about her experiences with mixed-episode bipolar disorder. She tells a story that needs to be heard, highlighting some of the glaring problems in health care when it comes to mental health. Bassey Ikpi not only is able to tell her story eloq...
  • Jocelyne Kevine
    Such beautiful writing and such a necessary story that needs to be told. A raw account of what it looks like to manage an illness that so many don’t understand, but which they will hopefully know more about after they read this. Bassey is a warrior and I am in awe of her strength and storytelling talent. I sobbed as I closed the book. A beautiful, beautiful story.
  • Kécy Anosike
    Ikpi writes: My family spent years looking at me and not knowing that I was not okay. When they saw how bad the “not okay” could get, they rushed to treat me like glass. Not something broken - like I felt - but something they had never noticed was in danger of breaking.“I’m Telling The Truth But I’m Lying” is a remarkably moving book for many reasons, starting with the presence of the most important ingredient in telling a story - any...
  • Latiffany
    I don’t know when I started following Bassey on Twitter or even why, but one day she tweeted that her book was coming out and I replied that I would buy it. She thanked me and that was that. I jotted down the title and told myself that I would order it soon. That very week my daughter text me and said that someone named Bassey was on our favorite podcast The Read and the conversation was really helpful. I hit the preorder button on my kindle an...
  • Sandy Reilly
    Bassey Ikpi takes readers deep into the desperately spiraling path her mind takes as she poetically puts into words living with bipolar II. Manic texts and emails to family and friends, comatose states of sleeplessness, a restlessness that requires laps around city blocks, negotiating periods of being repulsed by any kind of food, and a desire to no longer live while also not wanting to die -- this is Ikpi's life as she bravely shares her struggl...
  • alexa (travelingreads)
    “This brain feels broken sometimes.”
  • Smileitsjoy (JoyMelody)
    “only a woman so small and wise could give birth to herself so many times” That was the last sentence in the “prologue” of Bassey Ikpi’s book (set to release this coming August). That sentence struck a chord with me and I knew that this collection of essays was going to be amazing and moving. Ikpi is a Nigerian- American poet and mental health advocate and overall amazing human who has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. A disorder th...
  • Stefanie
    Wow. This was intense. The writing is amazing. The essays really put the reader in the place of not just better understanding bipolar II, but also give a sense, a feeling, of what it is like to live with this illness. A must read.
  • Natalie (CuriousReader)
    In I’m Telling the Truth, But I’m Lying, Bassey Ikpi tells her life-story of growing up with an increasingly splintered mind, from the early days of living in Nigeria and being confused at the turmoil within, to the growing fear in losing control and being hospitalised for ‘severe depression and suicidality’. While the book is described as an essay collection, it’s more suitably put as a memoir of a woman trying to piece together the va...
  • Jamise // Spines & Vines
    “People like to use the metaphor of darkness when it comes to depression. My experience is more like a fog. A thing descending slowly. A thick something that surrounds me, distorting my vision of myself and the world around me”Bassey Ikpi lays it all out with vivid imagery and emotion in her memoir I’M TELLING THE TRUTH BUT I’M LYING. I loved the transparency, the honesty and intense depth in which Bassey reveals her struggles with mental...
  • Crystal
    It's been a bad day so I wept through the second half. Felt her fear, frustration, and exhaustion in the psych ward while listening with deep anxiety. Triggering if your psych ward/hospital experience(s) has/have ever been traumatic. The lead up to her suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization was so real. Small flashes of frustration at her multiple refusals of help but that is what makes this memoir honest. I admired her independence and h...
  • Yaasmeen Piper
    Whew. This book was so beautifully written. Ikpi's voice is so unique. Her metaphors and her way she goes in and out of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person makes it feel as if you are breaking with her. I'm looking forward to this book being released into the world.
  • BiblioBtown
    This book gave me a panic attack. It hit a little close to home and there were so many scenes that resonated with me. I think she is strong for putting this out there. This is the true face of mental illness. This is what it feels like, what it's like to live with, what it's like to find out that all your worst fears about yourself are true, what it feels like to start fighting it, and living with the knowledge that it will never leave you.I read...
  • Viral
    Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me an ARC at BEA 2019, in return for an honest review. Also, thank you to Bassey Ikpi for signing my copy.This collection of essays show Bassey Ikpi over the course of several decades, from her childhood moving to the U.S. from Nigeria, to the difficulties in her home life with her parents, to her struggles in college, to her battling heartbreak, mental illness, depression, and work life balance as an adul...
  • Alba
    Bassey’s writing is so fearless. You’ll find yourself wanting to protect her while rooting for her to save herself. She paints a picture of a “broken” brain without ever making herself a victim and owning her actions. I breezed through this book even though the content was heavy at times. She tells her story in a way that makes you want to devour it like a good meal. I want to read everything she writes. Something tells me she has many mo...
  • Jenn
    Check out my review here: http://www.rewritelondon.com/portfoli...
  • Carey Calvert
    Bomani Jones of ESPN, who hosts a podcast, The Right Time, had the author Bassey Ikpi, on his Thursday show, unaware that the show coincided with Mental Health Awareness Day, October 10, and the stimulation I derived from finishing this book and listening to the author provide insight is a profound joy. I'm sorry reader but this joy will temper this entire review and I want you to know this beforehand. Jones called I'm telling the truth but I'm l...
  • Liese
    It was beautiful and poetic, but heartbreaking to read. I loved the raw honesty and the way the author was able to pierce my heart while reading. There were some chapters that I ended up skimming because I felt that they lost me midway through. I recognize that this is someone's own personal experience because it is something that I will never fully understand. The author paints a picture of her mind of trying to understand the mental illness she...
  • Alana
    "I know that when the sun casts a certain shadow on the cracked concrete sidewalk, that somewhere, in some past I can't fully access, there was a heart that broke and leaked and ran into those cracks."There is something beautifully heartbreaking about the journey this book takes you on, forgotten things, heartbreak, an illness that refuses to be contained without help. Bassey was able to tell her story in a way that I have never read before. It w...
  • Silje
    Beautiful honest poetic funny tragic writing. I hope she writes a follow-up about the man and the child, what came after the hospital breakdown, which is treated quite enigmatically at the end of this book. But pouring all the emotions and intensity into that as well might be too much for one book, after the hurricane of a breakdown. Really grateful I got to know you Bassey Ikpi!
  • Karen
    A lyrical, raw, painfully truthful, and worthwhile glimpse into the author's mental illness struggles. Sometimes hard in places to listen to, but recommend as an audio book since Ikpi is a spoken word artist and the impact of her words come through in her delivery.
  • Courtney Landis
    http://www.courtneymlandis.com/blog/b...I’m Telling The Truth But I’m Lying is a collection of personal essays mainly centered around Ikpi’s mental health, her relationships (with family, with friends, with work, with lovers), and largely the intersection between the two. Ikpi was diagnosed in adulthood with Bipolar II, and she brings the reader into her experience trying to find a way to live peacefully with her own brain. The memories she...