Thursday, September 28, 2017

Zack McDermott's "Gorilla and the Bird"

Zack McDermott has worked as a public defender for The Legal Aid Society of New York. His work has appeared on This American Life, Morning Edition, Gawker, and Deadspin, among others.

McDermott applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love, and reported the following:
I like this test. And, yes, I think it’s fairly representative of what readers can expect from Gorilla and the Bird. It’s kind of a funny scene – and it has one of my favorite descriptors of a character in the book: “He looked like he was no stranger to a Mountain Dew for breakfast.” This is at a psych clinic in Kansas shortly after I’ve been released from the locked psychiatric ward. Admittedly, the passage may come off as a bit judgmental, but I try not to hide my flaws and being too judgmental is definitely one of them. The person I’m really judging in the scene though is myself. I had yet to accept my diagnosis of bipolar disorder and, at that time, it didn’t feel bad to be struck with a severe mental illness, it felt like a moral failing – like I was damaged goods, a person to be avoided. Today I’m proud of being mentally ill and I’m proud about how open I am with my condition. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but it will remain a source of shame until people are able to openly and without fear of ostracism reveal that they have a DSM-V diagnosis.
Visit Zack McDermott's website.

--Marshal Zeringue