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Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman's Journey Through Depression Paperback – February 22, 1999

31 customer reviews

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Paperback, February 22, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Danquah, a black single mother and Ghanian-born immigrant, who moved to the U.S. at age six in 1973, has battled melancholy and despair, culminating in episodes of overwhelming depression. A performance artist and poet who has worked as a creative writing instructor, she discusses movingly how she overcame clinical depression in this candid memoir. Addressing the special circumstances of being both depressive and an African American woman, she notes, for example, that talking about one's parents is frowned on in African as well as African American culture. Her parents divorced when she was growing up in Washington, D.C., and she carried around suppressed rage at the father who abandoned her and the mother whose lover she claims sexually abused her. After she fled to Los Angeles in 1991, her world fell apart when, as she tells it, her common-law husband threw her out along with their two-month-old daughter. With the help of therapists, Danquah ultimately confronted these traumas and the self-hatred induced partly by pervasive racism. Yet antidepressant drugs numbed her and drove her to alcohol. She kicked both habits and now overcomes the blues (the book's title is from a Billie Holiday song) through music, meditation and vigilant monitoring to avoid self-destructive situations and moods. She tells her story poignantly and affectingly.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this brutally painful memoir, Danquah, a young single mother, reveals how her illness began, how it progressed to the point where she couldn't function, and how she finally got the support she needed to help combat it.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: One World/Ballantine; Reprint edition (February 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345432134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345432131
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By The Duchess on January 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read a review of this book in a magazine about two years ago and kept in stored in the back of my mind to read, mainly because it is titled after one of my favorite Billie Holliday songs, but also because it was the first book dealing with Black women and depression that I'd every seen. After a recent bout of depression, my therapist loaned me the book from the counseling center's library. Too depressed to do the hundred other things that were begging to be done after that session, I started reading the book, finishing it in about a day because I just couldn't believe that there was someone else out there who was hurting the way I was for as long as I had been. I had to know how it all turned out for her.
The book gave me hope. Meri's story is very similar to mine (save the alcoholism and single parenthood). Her story gave me hope, answered my questions about the effectiveness of drug therapy, and showed me that while depression can be a chronic illness, it is not untreatable if one has courage and faith. I have been working a lot with some of the suggestions that she made in the book and have had a marked improvement in many areas of my life. I feel truly blessed to have read that book and I am grateful that Meri was humble enough to share her story with all of us sisters who have suffered in shame and silence. God bless her; God bless us.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Janell Moore on March 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Upon reading the first pages, I wanted to know where was the person who was mirroring my life. Our struggles have ran so parallel that if Meri were to hear my story, I am sure she would feel as if I had been living her life. I can't begin to share with anyone the horror of living with this dreadful disease, however Meri said it like I haven't heard or read anywhere before. The strength that she found to write this memoir is very characteristic of us, individuals who suffer with depression. We can often go deep inside and find the resources to rise to any occasion and muster up the will to live. We, then, are able to do things that others, who don't live day to day with this debilitating illness, can't or won't do. Yet they do not live with such a disease that robs you of your self esteem and movitation that others take for granted. I have often been envious of those who appear so**normal**. Meri, my sister, you have done us "proud". You have my humblest admiration and prayers that your life will be more than we can imagine.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have been suffering from depression for longer than I care to admit. I grew up with a depressed mother who never sought help. I am about the same age as the author and have experienced many of the same things she has been through. I am still struggling with therapy, medications and trying to adjust to being a newly divorced single mom of a very sick little girl. I love to read and this is the first book I have read in a long time that I can truly relate to and find some hope for my future. I am so happy to know that I am not alone. I will try not to feel so guilty that I am not the strong black women that society has told me I need to be. This book has taught me that I am strong; strong enough to deal with this condition and keep moving forward.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ALma Graham on January 30, 2000
Format: Library Binding
As I thought about the title for my customer review, I tried to capture the essence of what this book meant to me.I just finished reading at about 6:00am and realized that I needed to find a way to pay homage to an incredibly brave, but even more compelling act of nurturing love that Meri Danguah unleashed to the world in her book debut. The book's cover photo is a precursing introduction to the love enveloped between the pages. Ms. Danquah's eyes peer out from a loving place of stability, forgivness, hope, strength, selflove, honor, humilty and a nurturing spirit of uncompromising depth and offering. Like the account she gives between the pages, her image confers to the beholder the assurance that the spirit within you can always rise up in an healing and sweet triumph. Meri Danquah's story is a precious gift for all who recognize the powerful human will to survive but yet simultaneously reach out to honor that same powerful will in others. I read her account of childhood abuse and constant painful struggle sometimes with tearful acknowledgement and reflection and at other times I read with a admiring respect for the person she is and continues to become. As a first effort, there are many parts of the book which could have transitioned more smoothly and other elements of the story which deserved more development and attention. However, her writing talent is clearly evident and the ability to pierce the place where the written word causes something to happen within is deftly at her command. Like many do now and will in years to come, I thank Meri Danquah for loving and giving of herself so that others too may find peace and comfort in their ability to receive it. We have met at AGAPE, A Religious Center of Truth, and there I first glimpsed Meri Danquah's power to love and confer healing. I encourage her and I look forward to the good this first book will bring to her and many,many others to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Rhodes on March 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book in my college bookstore and couldn't put it down! I have been in therapy and on medication for many years and was able to relate to a lot of what Meri wrote about. It was refreshing to hear about depression in this format. I recommend this book for friends and family members of loved ones with depression, for all genders, races, nationalities, etc. who are or may be suffering from depression, and the professionals who work with them. Ms. Danquah does an excellent job describing a journey of pain, denial, discovery, acceptance, and empowerment.
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