Lights On, Rats Out by Cree LeFavour
A Memoir

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In LeFavour’s new memoir, Lights On, Rats Out, the New York writer shares a raw, honest account of mental illness and a rare glimpse into the complexities of the psychiatrist-patient relationship.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

Lights On, Rats Out is unlike anything I’ve ever read―a powerfully, staggeringly honest book that is excruciating in places, and also completely haunting. LeFavour’s intimate account of her relationship with her psychiatrist is intensely compelling, forthright, and brave. Did he overstep? Was he somehow pulled in by her beyond what was therapeutically appropriate or helpful? This is a fascinating memoir in a category of its own.”―Dani Shapiro

As a young college graduate a year into treatment with a psychiatrist, Cree LeFavour began to organize her days around the cruel, compulsive logic of self-harm: with each newly lit cigarette, the world would drop away as her focus narrowed on the blooming release of pleasure-pain as the burning tip was applied to an unblemished patch of skin. Her body was a canvas of cruelty; each scar a mark of pride and shame.

In sharp and shocking language, Lights On, Rats Out brings us closely into these years. We see the world as Cree did―turned upside down, the richness of life muted and dulled, its pleasures perverted. The heady thrill of meeting with her psychiatrist, Dr. Adam N. Kohl―whose relationship with Cree is at once sustaining and paralyzing―comes to be the only bright spot in her days.

Lights On, Rats Out describes a fiercely smart and independent woman’s charged attachment to a mental health professional and the dangerous compulsion to keep him in her life at all costs.

 

About Cree LeFavour

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Cree LeFavour is the author of several cookbooks, including the James Beard Award nominated Fish, published by Chronicle Books. She has Ph.D. in American Studies and taught writing at New York University.
 
Published August 1, 2017 by Grove Press. 244 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Lights On, Rats Out
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 25 2017

As LeFavour explores the destructive relationship between her mind and body in tandem with her unhealthy, quasi-erotic attachment to her psychiatrist, she lays bare the human hunger—no matter how perverse—for acceptance and love. A searingly eloquent and intelligent memoir.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Daphne Merkin on Jul 24 2017

This is a courageous and unsettling memoir, infused with humor as well as pain, and marked throughout by a survivor’s wry insight.

Read Full Review of Lights On, Rats Out: A Memoir | See more reviews from NY Times

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Sue Carter on Aug 26 2017

In LeFavour’s new memoir, Lights On, Rats Out, the New York writer shares a raw, honest account of mental illness and a rare glimpse into the complexities of the psychiatrist-patient relationship.

Read Full Review of Lights On, Rats Out: A Memoir | See more reviews from Toronto Star