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Download This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression Audiobook, by Daphne Merkin Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Daphne Merkin Narrator: Suzanne Toren Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2017 ISBN: 9781504773119
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A gifted and audacious writer confronts her lifelong battle with depression and her search for release

This Close to Happy is the rare, vividly personal account of what it feels like to suffer from clinical depression, written from a woman’s perspective and informed by an acute understanding of the implications of this disease over a lifetime.

Taking off from essays on depression she has written for the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine, Daphne Merkin casts her eye back to her beginnings to try to sort out the root causes of her affliction. She recounts the travails of growing up in a large, affluent family where there was a paucity of love and basics such as food and clothing despite the presence of a chauffeur and a cook. She goes on to recount her early hospitalization for depression in poignant detail, as well as her complex relationship with her mercurial, withholding mother.

Along the way Merkin also discusses her early, redemptive love of reading and gradual emergence as a writer. She eventually marries, has a child, and suffers severe postpartum depression, for which she is again hospitalized. Merkin also discusses her visits to various therapists and psychopharmocologists, which enables her to probe the causes of depression and its various treatments. The book ends in the present, where the writer has learned how to navigate her depression, if not “cure” it, after a third hospitalization in the wake of her mother’s death.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Merkin] narrates…with insight, grace, and excruciating clarity, in exquisite and sometimes darkly humorous prose…for all its highly personal focus, it is an important addition to the literature of mental illness.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Illuminating, heartbreaking, and powerfully written…Merkin eloquently blends the personal with the researched; her intellectual tenacity and emotional rawness impress.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Dark thoughts hover over virtually every page of this mesmerizing memoir, and yet there is also the very real possibility of hope.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Extraordinarily lucid and moving…This is a book for all those who know nothing about depression and for those who know too much.”

    Adam Phillips, author of Unforbidden Pleasures

  • “Brings a stunningly perceptive voice to the forefront of the conversation about depression, one that is both reassuring and revelatory.”

    Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice

  • This Close to Happy is honest, fearless in the way we have come to expect from Daphne Merkin, and, as a bonus, frankly informative.”

    Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, president, Child Mind Institute

  • A Huffington Post Pick of Books by Women Everyone Should Read This Year
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2017
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for February 2017
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About the Author

Daphne Merkin, a former staff writer for the New Yorker, is a regular contributor to Elle. Her writing frequently appears in the New York Times, Bookforum, Departures, Travel & Leisure, W, Vogue, and other publications. Merkin has taught writing at the 92nd Street Y, Marymount, and Hunter College. She lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Suzanne Toren has over thirty years of experience in narration. She has won the American Foundation for the Blind’s Scourby Award for Narrator of the Year, AudioFile magazine named her the 2009 Best Voice in Nonfiction & Culture, and she is the recipient of multiple Earphones Awards. She performs on and off Broadway and in regional theaters and has appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas.