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A Memoir of Madness

Descent by David Guterson
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From the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars: a poignant, searching memoir about one man's fall into depression in the wake of a national tragedy, and his brave struggle to return to normalcy.
     Like most of the country and the world, David Guterson woke up on Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, not thinking history was about to change. He was in Washington, D.C., with a group of fellow writers, evaluating grant applications for the National Endowment of the Arts. But before their work day had even begun, the Pentagon was bombed; the Twin Towers were down in New York City; and havoc was wreaked irrevocably on our collective sense of happiness, security, and national pride. Scrambling to get out of the city and back home any way he could, David, along with two fellow writers, rented a car and drove 2,600 miles across the country to Seattle.  But the attacks triggered something inside him, a pervasive feeling of hopelessness, fear, despair--a clinical depression that that would not go away. He lost interest in his work, family, friends--his life. Inspired by William Styron's masterful Darkness Visible, Guterson's Descent is the searing account of one man's envelopment by the darkest of human emotions, and his tunneling out. Powerful, intense, and deeply felt, it is at once personal and universally illuminating--a confession from a great literary mind who takes us on a journey of what it feels like, and means, to lose one's grasp on the world--and to find it once more, even if by fumbling in the dark.
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; September 2013
80 pages; ISBN 9780804169257
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Title: Descent
Author: David Guterson
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