Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me (2012)


From: Penguin Randomhouse

Notes on This Title

Chronicles the author’s experiences with Bipolar I Disorder.


2013 National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis "Gradiva" winner in Art.


“Ellen Forney’s greatest strength as a cartoonist is her gift for explanation — getting information across with vigor, wit and visual inventiveness. That inspiration may have come at an awful cost, she suggests in MARBLES: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me , a memoir of her long tango, or wrestling match, with bipolar disorder. As she explains, her frantic, volatile high moods seemed to fuel her art; 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. The bulk of “Marbles” documents her wobbly progress toward stability, with interpolated drawings from her journals and occasional side trips into the history of “crazy artists.” It’s not exactly focused, but it’s mostly delightful: Forney switches up the style and layout of her artwork every page or two, and she’s got enough perspective on herself to find some kind of comedy even in painful experiences.” (The New York Times Review of Books: “At the Panel’s Edge“)


Lambda Literary: “Ellen Forney: Losing One’s Marbles

NPR: “Memoir Traces How Cartoonist Lost Her ‘Marbles’

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