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Hillbilly Gothic: A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood Paperback – August 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- Allison Glock, author of "Beauty Before Comfort"
"A smart, riveting, alternately sad and amusing account of postpartum depression and psychosis...A "Girl, Interrupted" for the new-mother set."
-- Cathi Hanauer, author of "My Sister's Bones" and "The Bitch in the House"
""Hillbilly Gothic" captures the fascinating contradictions of the women of modern Appalachia. Adrienne clearly illuminates the pain and shame suffered by those with closeted mental illness, while retaining respect for the several generations of brave mothers and daughters in her family who lived through it. This book is beautifully written, thought-provoking, and slyly funny. Highly recommended."
-- Katie Allison Granju, author of "Attachment Parenting"
"Adrienne Martini has had a tough time as both a daughter and a mother, yet she brings back from the wretched edge of the maternal endeavor a book of liveliness and companionability, full of the wit and the will and even the anger that got her through the experience. This post-hillbilly madwoman knows how it is. She slips around your defenses and whispers her jokes and stories in your ear until you can't help but feel less isolated. I found her very good company."
-- Marion Winik, author of "Above Us Only Sky" and "The Lunch-Box Chronicles"
"With a rare mixture of honesty, humor, and compassion, Adrienne Martini reveals her painful family legacy of mental illness. Her own encounter with postpartum depression, which she explores fearlessly, is at once harrowing and hopeful. An inspiration to all who are touched by this most complex human condition."
-- Henry Emmons, MD, author of "The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression Through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom"
Top Customer Reviews
The timeline of this book was kind of a tangle. I didn't follow many parts exactly..okay, wait, wait, has her baby been born yet? Is she still talking about when she was a college kid staying with her father, or are we back to the present. And the parts about the history of postpartum depressiong and how mental illness is treated in American felt very obligatory and tacked on, or patched in.
But the parts about her hospital stay, both for birth and for breakdown, were real and were wrenching. And I cannot overemphasize how freakin' refreshing it is to read a memoir, in this saturated environment, of someone NOT from New York, who doesn't live in New York and who seemingly has no connections in the New York-centered industry and who is resolutely middle class and didn't even go to an Ivy League College. And a memoir not written in workshoppy, sanguine style.
It's really good. I mean, maybe you have to be a woman and maybe you have to be a mother to appreciate this, not sure as I am both. But yeah.
"I can be perfect and completely insane or good enough and sane enough."
Adrienne Martini weaves a tale of new motherhood,post-partum depression and family history in a way her readers will find comforting, disturbing, hilarious and heartbreaking. Martini spares little detail in writing about her brush with mental illness, yet she remains likeable and funny throughout the books' darkest passages.
I very much related to the mother/daughter aspects of the story. By not acknowledging her depression, my mother chose to not have treatment...something that affected our relationship until the day she died.
Martini is brutally honest in the sharing of her story and I commend her for that. But even more important was the fact that she managed to get through her dark time and move forward. Her memoir is about so much more than postpartum depression. It's about admitting to a problem, overcoming it, working through it and coming out the other side to become the person that she was meant to be. Highly recommended memoir!
Martini is a wonderful writer, even if she didn't have such a tale to tell. She manages to find surprising metaphors and striking observations even for situations that have been written about often. I would love to have her as a professor.
Just a note to perspective readers---the hillbilly part of the title misleads a little. The book is much more a memoir about PPD than about hillbilly life. But it's a great title!
Martini's account of her Appalachian background and family's mental illness is not pretty. Her own descent into "madness" actually made me physically hurt for her. That's not to say she sets herself up to be pitied. Far from it. She recognizes that her story is a common one and because there is still a stigma associated with all mental illness, especially postpartum depression and its darker sister postpartum psychosis, it is a necessary story.
I can't say that I recommend this book to everyone - its a tough story to read. But if you do choose to read it I don't think you will be disappointed (and you might even be a little more understanding for having read it).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author/narrator had an appealing voice and lured me into her story quickly. I honestly hadn't plan to read the entire book, but after her troubles, I needed to know how it... Read morePublished on November 6, 2011 by Murphy
The author's experience with postpartum depression, as recounted in Hillbilly Gothic, is an interesting read. Read morePublished on February 17, 2010 by J. Defauw
If you have or had post partum depression do not read this book. On a good note it will make you feel more sane but overall it is very depressing and dark.Published on December 21, 2006 by K. French
I saw this book discussed on the Yarn Harlot's web site, and because I am a fan of southern writers, I thought it would be a good read. I was right. Read morePublished on October 8, 2006 by M. Cahill