The Answer To The Riddle Is Me

This book is part of a currently featured article in the Arts& Culture on amnesia titled:

Do you remember who you are? Amnesia on the page

“MacLean has written a memoir that combines the evocative power of William Styron’s “Darkness Visible,” the lyric subtlety of Michael Ondaatje’s “Running in the Family,” and the narrative immediacy of a Hollywood action film. He reminds us how we are all always trying to find a version of ourselves that we can live with.” – The Los Angeles Times 

“(MacLean) is an exceedingly entertaining psychotic.” “Thanks to his raw, honest and beautiful memoir, readers will . . . have a clear idea what his experience was like. We can be grateful Mr. MacLean has remembered so much, and so well.”  – The New York Times

“Brilliant and painful and hilarious.” —Antonya Nelson

Answer to the Riddle 200On October 17, 2002, David MacLean “woke up” on a train platform in India with no idea who he was or why he was there. No money. No passport. No identity.

Taken to a mental hospital by the police, MacLean then started to hallucinate so severely he had to be tied down. Soon he could remember song lyrics, but not his family, his friends, or the woman he was told he loved. All of these symptoms, it turned out, were the result of the commonly prescribed malarial medication he had been taking. Upon his return to the States, he struggled to piece together the fragments of his former life in a harrowing, absurd, and unforgettable journey back to himself.

The Answer to the Riddle Is Me, drawn from David MacLean’s award-winning This American Life essay,is a deeply felt, closely researched, and intensely personal book. It asks every reader to confront the essential questions of our age: In our geographically and chemically fluid world, what makes me who I am? And how much can be stripped away before I become someone else entirely?

 

About the author:

David Stuart Maclean is a Pen/American award-winning writer living in Chicago. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, The New York Times, and on the radio program This American Life. He has a PhD from the University of Houston and is a co-founder of the Poison Pen Reading Series.

He grew up in Central Ohio and worked on an assembly line in an auto plant, as a baker, as an organic farmer, as a dishwasher, and as an outdoor educator. I have lived in North Carolina, New Mexico, Texas, and Hyderabad, India.  He lives in Chicago with his wife and dog named Sally.

 

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