Hurry Down Sunshine: A Father's Memoir of Love and Madness

Hurry Down Sunshine: A Father's Memoir of Love and Madness

by Michael Greenberg

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Overview

This international bestseller is an extraordinary family story and an exceptionally powerful memoir about coping withbipolar disorder, now with a new afterword for the ten-year anniversary edition.

Michael Greenberg recounts in vivid detail the remarkable summer when, at the age of fifteen, his daughter was struck mad. It begins with Sally's sudden visionary crack-up on the streets of Greenwich Village, and continues, among other places, in the out-of-time world of a Manhattan psychiatric ward during the city's sweltering summer. It is a tale of a family broken open, then painstakingly, movingly stitched together again.

Greenberg's unforgettable cast of characters includes an unconventional psychiatrist, an Orthodox Jewish patient, a manic Classics professor, a movie producer, and a landlord with literary aspirations. Unsentimental, nuanced, and deeply humane, Hurry Down Sunshine is essential reading in the literature of affliction with such classics as
Girl, Interrupted and An Unquiet Mind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590519813
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 546,720
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Michael Greenberg is the author of the memoir Hurry Down Sunshine (Other Press, 2008), published in sixteen countries and chosen as one of the best books of 2008 by Time, the San Francisco Chronicle, Amazon.com, and Library Journal. He is a columnist for the Times Literary Supplement. His writing has appeared in such varied places as O, The Oprah Magazine and The New York Review of Books. He lives in New York.

Read an Excerpt

Sally emerges from her room in a thin hospital gown, snap buttons, no laces or ties. She suddenly looks ageless. The only other time I’ve seen her in a hospital was the night she was born. By that point in our marriage her mother and I were like two people drinking alone in a bar. Not hostile, just miles apart. Yet when Sally appeared, a huge optimism came over us, a physical optimism, primitive and momentarily blind. She was her own truth, complete to herself, so beautifully formed that the jaded maternity nurses marveled at what perfection had just slid into the world. Though she has never set foot in a psychiatric hospital, there is the tacit sense from Sally that she is understood here, she is where she belongs. She acts as if a great burden has been lifted from her. At the same time she is more elevated than ever: feral, glitter-eyed. In 1855 a friend of Robert Schumann observed him at the piano in an asylum near Bonn: “like a machine whose springs are broken, but which still tries to work, jerking convulsively.” Sally appears to be heading toward this maimed point of perpetual motion. Her sole concern is to get her pen back, which has been confiscated with most of her other belongings–belt, matches, shoelaces, keys, anything with glass, and her comb with half its teeth snapped off by her potent hair. She initiates an agitated negotiation with the nurses, which immediately threatens to boil over into a serious scene. The nurses confer like referees after a disputed call. Then they grant her a felt-tip marker and march her back to her room.

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