The Official Rogue Book Club: Ellen Forney
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Each month, the Official Rogue Book Club brings together readers, art-lovers, and special guests to discuss books that inspire us to look at art and life in new, unexpected ways.
For Mental Health Month, we are taking on our first graphic novel — Marbles by cartoonist Ellen Forney. Described as “darkly funny and intensely personal,” Forney explores the relationship between “crazy” and “creative.” Drawing on her own experience with bipolar disorder, Forney interweaves her story with those of famous bipolar artists and writers.
Attempting to dispel any romantic notions about her life, Forney tries to come to terms with the concept of the “crazy” or “tortured” artist, finding inspiration in the lives and work of artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. As The New York Times noted in a short review of her book: "Her crushing lows made it nearly impossible for her to make it, or do anything else; and the desperately inexact science of medication, she once feared, might rob her of the creativity she cherished." Forney also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to “cure” an otherwise brilliant mind.
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