Mark Vonnegut: Just Like Someone WIthout Mental Illness Only More So, A Memoir
KPFA Radio presents
"Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So"
Hosted by Richard Wolinsky
"being Kurt Vonnegut's son and suffering episodes of psychosisshape, but don't confine, this mordantly witty, slightly subversive memoir. Mark Vonnegut writes with a matter-of-fact absurdism, champions misfits, and attacks the system. All his own are Vonnegut's hard-won insights into the value of a humble, useful life picked up from pieces." Publishers Weekly
Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So is a searingly amusing, intimate account of growing up with Kurt Vonnegut, coping with mental illness, finding a calling as a pediatrician, and learning that willpower alone isn't enough to get us through. Mark felt compelled to write his new memoir because, "The death of my father was a turning point. I hope the book is something Kurt can be proud of from heaven. I am trying to tell the truth about mental illness."
After Mark Vonnegut received a B.A. in Religion from Swarthmore, he started a commune in British Columbia, and shortly thereafter had his first psychotic break. Originally diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia, he was subsequently diagnosed as Manic Depressive (the medically preferred term is now Bipolar). His book about this The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity named an ALA Notable Book, was declared by The New York Times to be "required reading for those who want to understand insanity from the inside."
Vonnegut is a primary care pediatrician in Massachusetts. He has served on the Harvard Medical School Admissions Committee, and is currently an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Boston Globe. He is married and has three sons. He paints, plays the saxophone, and likes walking his dog.
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