Dealing with mental illness in the family

March 12, 2008 5:02:18 PM PDT
How do you grow past the shame and hurt of mental illness in your family, especially when your mom is the one spiraling out of control? In her memoir, "Swallow the Ocean," author Laura Flynn recounts her San Francisco childhood that was both grim and colorful.

About 'Swallow The Ocean': SWALLOW THE OCEAN: A Memoir (Counterpoint; February 2008; Cloth; 288 pages; $23.00; 1-58243-385-2) is the beautifully written true story about what it's like to experience a parent's schizophrenia through the lens of a child who has no language for mental illness. Most of all, this memoir is a tribute to the ingenuity of children in the face of catastrophic events.

Buy the book on Swallow The Ocean

Booking Signing Events:

March 12, 7:00PM
BookShop West Portal
80 West Portal Avenue
San Francisco, CA

March 13, 7:30PM
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA

March 16, 4:00PM
Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA

March 17, 7:00PM
San Francisco Public Library, Sunset Branch
1305 18th Avenue (at Irving)
San Francisco, CA

About Author Laura Flynn: As a little girl, Laura Flynn thought her mother could do no wrong. A strong, free spirit, Sally Ann Barton was the center of her daughter's imagination. Laura loved to hear tales of when her mother-young and looking for adventure-set off for Paris, where she met Laura's father. The couple returned to San Francisco and had three daughters, embarking on what might have been the most charmed of family lives.

Instead, by the time Laura was eight, Sally's hold on reality began to slowly slip away. She starts to buy strictly "evil-free" products and comes to believe her husband is the devil himself, or at least has "crossed the line to the other side." After Laura's parents divorce, her father struggles to gain custody, while Sally wages a pitched battle for her daughters' souls. As the three girls are forced to make impossible choices, they retreat to books and elaborate games of fantasy, creating a powerful world of imagination.

Laura M. Flynn is a native of San Francisco. She currently teaches writing at the University of Minnesota, where she received her M.F.A. in creative writing. This is Laura's first book and she would be delighted to interview.