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Nothing Was the Same Hardcover – September 15, 2009
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"The great gift Jamison offers here, beyond her honesty and the beauty of her writing, is perspective: a cleared-eyed view of illness and death, sanity and insanity, love and grief . . . To write the truth with such passion and grace is remarkable enough. To do this in loving memory of a partner is tribute indeed."
—The Washington Post
"This is a finely told midlife love story, a romance as elegant as it is doomed . . . What a couple she and her husband . . . made! . . . Jamison writes simply and believably."
"A unique account, filled with exquisitely wrought nuances of emotion, of her husband's death . . . In her brilliant explication distinguishing between madness and grief, her battle to remain sane is as stirring as his to beat cancer. "
"Elegiac and emotionally precise."
—Booklist (starred review)
"A soul-baring love letter. "
"A superb read. "
—Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
Kay Redfield Jamison is Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and codirector of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center. She is also Honorary Professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She is the author of the national best sellers An Unquiet Mind and Night Falls Fast, as well as Exuberance and Touched with Fire; the coauthor of the standard medical text on manic-depressive (bipolar) illness; and the author or coauthor of more than one hundred scientific papers about mood disorders, creativity, and psychopharmacology. She is the recipient of numerous national and international scientific awards and of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship.
Top customer reviews
Jamison's book belongs in the top rank along with C.S. Lewis' A Grief Observed. She is a highly literate, sensitive writer who describes the loss of her husband to cancer and how they both grieved over what was happening to them. One especially helpful chapter is on the difference between grief and depression. Dr. Jamison is a world-recognized authority on mood disorders and has also written in the past of her own struggle with manic-depressive illness. As one who has suffered true depression in the past and now is experiencing real grief, she clearly distinguishes between them. Grief may make a person feel like they are going crazy, but it is not depression or any other mental illness.
Highly recommended for anyone who is trying to understand their own or someone else's grief.
She referred numerous times to the book she was writing at the time of Dr. Wyatt's decline, the book on passionate exuberance - and it's almost unbelievable to see her tend to her personal life while writing this book on a subject nowhere close to her daily reality.
If you enjoy this book, I strongly encourage you to read her other books.
Her beautifully written memoir, Nothing Was the Same, is a heartbreaking love story, with the insight of a brilliant mind of a women who is at the same time a sufferer of manic depression and a scientist. The love and life she shared with her brilliant and caring husband had such pathos and delight. Her council to her patients on page 196 really is a guide for all to think about and practice!
I am now reading An Unquiet Mind in which she describes with vivid detail her experiences with this disease. How fortunate her students and patients are for her insight, compassion, sense of humor, and empathy.