"Imagine the worst thing in the world."
This is the mantra that runs through the brilliant debut from Fletcher Wortmann, TRIGGERED: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. You might have heard Fletcher’s deeply moving interview on NPR’s Talk of the Nation recently (link). He’s a talented new voice, a recent Swarthmore grad writing about the devil in the details. Forget the whimsical portrayal of Detective Monk. We’re talking "Pure O," a highly debilitating form of the illness, one marked by intrusive thoughts of the darkest and even apocalyptic kind.
But no mere "misery memoir," this. As brutally intimate and honest as TRIGGERED is—an "acid bath of self-revelation," one blurber calls it—what charmed me about this memoir was its quirky balance of the heartbreaking and the hysterical, the profound and the light-hearted. (One of my favorite lines: "If a girl accepts an invitation to help count the tiles on your bedroom ceiling, then she will probably be disappointed when she realizes you were speaking literally.") The experience of reading TRIGGERED is akin to "reading" a Wes Anderson film, if that makes sense. Wortmann’s a unique talent; it’s a rare author indeed who can weave eclectic allusions to David Bowie, Kurt Vonnegut, psychology, Christian comic books, Pokémon, Edgar Allen Poe, the family cat, and St. John of the Cross. As engrossing as this memoir is on the subject of mental illness, fundamentally it’s a universal coming of age story that takes us on a journey through American culture both high and low. (And it’s entirely appropriate for teen readers, as well. My 16-year-old nephew polished it off in a couple days…)
People magazine gave TRIGGERED 3 1/2 out of 4 stars, bestselling memoirist Janine Latus declared "Bravo!" and OCD authority Jonathan Grayson praised its "hip, dark humor" and likened TRIGGERED to "Jack Kerouac’s on the Road for OCD and the twenty-first century."
...Staying on the subject of moving memoirs, I also want to draw your attention to SPARKY AND ME: My Friendship with Sparky Anderson and the Lessons He Shared About Baseball and Life by Dan Ewald.Read more
AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTHINESS
The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert
AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTHINESS (Thomas Dunne Books, October) delivers a funny and personal portrait of the ground-breaking star.Read more
Hi everyone, I’m back to tell you about two great titles for 2011…
Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
In case you missed it earlier this year, you should check out JACKIE AS EDITOR: THE LITERARY LIFE OF JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS by Greg Lawrence. History remembers Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as the consummate first lady, the quintessential embodiment of elegance. But many people forget that after JFK and after Aristotle, Jackie enjoyed a long career as a book editor for almost two decades and worked on more than 100 books at Viking and Doubleday during the industry’s Golden Age. Lawrence, one of the authors whom Jackie edited, draws from interviews with more than 125 of her former collaborators and acquaintances in the publishing world.Read more
Hi again! As my friend Talia has reminded me now and then, it’s been a while since my last post, so I’m pleased to be writing to you again—and hope to do so with more frequency from now on!Read more
Hi there. I’m Rob Kirkpatrick, Senior Editor with the Thomas Dunne Books imprint at St. Martin’s Press. I came to the Macmillan family with a wide variety of publishing experience, including four years at Greenwood Publishing, when I had the chance to meet a number of public and academic librarians and talk with them about the needs and interests of their patrons.