Life After Death: Surviving Suicide (Hardcover)
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An intertwined tale of a boy’s world shattered by suicide and a man’s story rewritten by neuroscience.
When Richard Brockman found his mother’s body, the simple narrative of his childhood ended. Life After Death tells the story of a boy who died and of a man who survived when the boy and the man are one and the same. It tells a very personal—yet tragically common—story of irredeemable loss. It tells the story of story itself. How story forms. How it grows. How it changes. How it can be broken. And finally, how sometimes it can be repaired.
Now an expert in genetics, epigenetics, and the biology of attachment, Brockman chronicles his evolution from a child overwhelmed by trauma to a man who has struggled to reclaim his past. He lays bare the core of one who is both victim and healer. By weaving together childhood despair and clinical knowledge, Brockman shows how the shattered pieces of the self—though never the same and not without scars—can sometimes be put back together again.
About the Author
Richard Brockman, MD, is a clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at Columbia University and a visiting professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Namibia. He has been honored with the Nancy C.A. Roeske Award for medical student education by the American Psychiatric Association and with the Victor J. Teichner Visiting Scholar Award from the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry for his teaching. His book, A Map of the Mind, has been critically acclaimed by the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Psychiatric Association.Also a playwright, his shows have been produced both off-Broadway and on international stages.
“This is a shockingly original book: the subjective story of his mother’s suicide, as experienced by the little boy Richard Brockman, miraculously interwoven with an objective story about the relevant neurobiology, told by an esteemed psychiatrist—the very same Richard Brockman.”
—Mark Solms, science director of the American Psychoanalytic Association
“A brilliant wrestling of the mind and heart. Brockman brings the reader into his shattered world where chaos and annihilation reign in the long shadow of trauma. His soulful search to find healing and wholeness is disarming and breathtaking.”
—Kathleen M. Pike, PhD, professor and director at Columbia-WHO Center for Global Mental Health
"A devastatingly beautiful book about a son's memories of his mother, weaving in broader truths about our brains, the way we form relationships, and how the stories we tell about ourselves shape the way we live."
—Helena Merriman, journalist, author, and creator of the Tunnel 29 podcast