Marbles by Ellen Forney
Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir

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No matter what she's experiencing, Forney wants you to be there with her. Chances are, if you have even a passing interest in nonfiction comics, psychology or what it means to be creative, you'll want to be there, too.
-NPR

Synopsis

Cartoonist Ellen Forney explores the relationship between “crazy” and “creative” in this graphic memoir of her bipolar disorder, woven with stories of famous bipolar artists and writers.

 

Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic and terrified that medications would cause her to lose creativity, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability while retaining her passions and creativity.

Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to “cure” an otherwise brilliant mind.

Darkly funny and intensely personal, Forney’s memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist’s work, as she shares her own story through bold black-and-white images and evocative prose.

 

About Ellen Forney

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ELLEN FORNEY is a graphic artist perhaps best known for her work on Sherman Alexie's bestselling, National Book Award–winning novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. A respected storyteller in her own right, she has written three comic books. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
 
Published November 6, 2012 by Avery. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Comics & Graphic Novels, Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Marbles
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Rachel Cooke on Aug 10 2013

Forney has a delightfully clear sense of self, and it's this that makes her book, for all its inherent pain, such a blast.

Read Full Review of Marbles: Mania, Depression, M... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Matt Haig on Aug 08 2013

If you are interested in a disarmingly frank and funny account of the emotional extremes a human mind can reach, you should read this brilliant and strangely life-affirming book.

Read Full Review of Marbles: Mania, Depression, M... | See more reviews from Guardian

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Myla Goldberg on Nov 08 2012

No matter what she's experiencing, Forney wants you to be there with her. Chances are, if you have even a passing interest in nonfiction comics, psychology or what it means to be creative, you'll want to be there, too.

Read Full Review of Marbles: Mania, Depression, M... | See more reviews from NPR

Reader Rating for Marbles
87%

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