Your Voice in My Head
Emma Forrest, a British journalist, was just twenty-two and living the fast life in New York City when she realized that her quirks had gone beyond eccentricity. In a cycle of loneliness, damaging relationships, and destructive behavior, she found herself in the chair of a slim, balding, and effortlessly optimistic psychiatrist—a man whose wisdom and humanity would wrench her from the dangerous tide after she tried to end her life. She was on the brink of drowning, but she was still working, still exploring, still writing, and she had also fallen deeply in love. One day, when Emma called to make an appointment with her psychiatrist, she found no one there. He had died, shockingly, at the age of fifty-three, leaving behind a young family. Reeling from the premature death of a man who had become her anchor after she turned up on his doorstep, she was adrift. And when her all-consuming romantic relationship also fell apart, Emma was forced to cling to the page for survival and regain her footing on her own terms.
A modern-day fairy tale, Your Voice in My Head is a stunning memoir, clear-eyed and shot through with wit. In her unique voice, Emma Forrest explores the highs and lows of love and the heartbreak of loss.
Forrest's memoir of suffering from mania, bulimia, and self-mutilation is written with such candor, humor, and lush, sensual prose it becomes, quite surprisingly, a rich, often riotous, pleasure to listen to. A British transplant to New York City at 22, on contract with the Guardian and completing her first novel, Forrest notices that her "quirks had gone beyond eccentricity" and she dissolves into self-loathing and self-destructive relationships until she makes a fortuitous connection with her "savior," a psychiatrist, Dr. R. The unsparing, unsentimental narrative is beautifully served by Forrest's reading. Her voice is low, halting; she confides rather than narrates, and she switches easily from the confessional mode to rollicking sendups of her family members and friends her father's Sean Connery brogue, her grandmother who sounds like a Yiddish Prunella Scales, her squeaky baby sister, and every variety of New York accent. Less impressive, and more than slightly offensive, however are her depictions of minorities. Her crude "Chinese" and "Indian" accents are cringe inducing. An Other Press hardcover.