Zack McDermott - Gorilla and the Bird - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780349413549
    • Publication date:26 Sep 2017

Gorilla and the Bird

A memoir of madness and a mother's love

By Zack McDermott

  • Paperback
  • £14.99

A powerful memoir of one man's journey to madness and the mother's love that brings him back.

'One of the gems of the year' - Michele Magwood, Sunday Times (Books LIVE SA)

The story of a young man fighting to recover from a devastating psychotic break and the mother who refuses to give up on him.

Zack McDermott, a twenty-six-year-old Brooklyn public defender, woke up one morning convinced he was being filmed as part of an audition for a TV pilot. Every passerby was an actor; every car would magically stop for him; everything he saw was a cue from 'The Producer' to help inspire the performance of a lifetime. After a manic spree around Manhattan, Zack, who is bipolar, was arrested on a subway platform and admitted to hospital.

So begins the story of Zack's free fall into psychosis and his desperate, poignant, often darkly funny struggle to claw his way back to sanity, regain his identity, and rebuild some semblance of a stable life. It's a journey that will take him from New York City back to his Kansas roots and to the one person who might be able to save him, his tough, bighearted Midwestern mother, nicknamed the Bird, whose fierce and steadfast love is the light in Zack's dark world.

Before his odyssey is over, Zack will be tackled by guards in mental wards, run naked through cornfields, receive secret messages from the TV, befriend a former Navy SEAL and his talking stuffed monkey and see the Virgin Mary in the whorls of his own back hair. But with the Bird's help, he just might have a shot at pulling through, starting over, and maybe even meeting a woman who can love him back, bipolar and all.

Written with raw emotional power, humor, and tenderness, Gorilla and the Bird is a bravely honest account of a young man's unraveling and the relationship that saves him.

Biographical Notes

Zack McDermott is originally from Kansas and now lives in Brooklyn as a public defender. In 2014 he wrote a brief account of his first psychotic episode and hospitalization for Gawker that received more than 88,000 hits, was featured on Longreads, and Kansas Public Radio's Morning Edition. The Morning Edition piece was named Best Complete News Feature of 2014 by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349413556
  • Publication date: 26 Sep 2017
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: Piatkus
A startlingly moving memoir of mother and son, structural injustice, and inflammable mental illness. Gorilla and the Bird is as piss-cuttin' a pietà as anyone has any right to hope for. And Zack McDermott- the guy's a fleet, funny, unsentimental storyteller who manages that rare thing: he allows a damaged soul to be found. — Kent Russell, author of I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son
This remarkable book illustrates Willam Osler's dictum, 'Ask not what disease the person has, but rather what person the disease has.' When that disease is bipolar disorder spiked with the Truman Show delusion, and that person is Zack McDermott, a terrific and terrifically funny writer, the result is an incredibly powerful read. Zack's mother, endlessly strong and supportive, reminds us that we also need to ask what family the disease has. — Joel Gold, MD, author of Suspicious Minds: The Truman Show Delusion and Other Strange Beliefs
Zack McDermott's portrait of a mind under assault from bipolar illness is both fascinating and heartbreaking to observe, and he takes us into his experience with riveting intensity. But McDermott's real achievement is capturing the moving determination and steadfast love of the mother who saves him, the remarkable Bird who breaks the loneliness, quiets the fear, and gives him a home worth returning to. — George Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of Bettyville
This book is one of the gems of the year — Michele Magwood, Sunday Times (SA)
Breathless, funny, absurd and often completely inappropriate . . . McDermott's insights on mental illness [are] extremely refreshing. The humour and affection with which McDermott describes both his clients and his fellow psych-ward inmates never veers into mawkishness or pity - a rare quality in literature on this topic. Understandably, writers often avoid making jokes about mental illness or those who suffer from it . . . but it is this unconventional approach that makes McDermott's writing so compelling. Those of us who have ever had a psychotic episode or a breakdown, or have ever been in psychiatric hospital, will know that there's a rich vein of dark humour bubbling beneath the surface. McDermott doesn't just acknowledge that: he revels in it, and the result is utterly charming. — Emily Reynolds, Times Literary Supplement
Despite the subject being really rather heart-wrenching, I found myself laughing out loud at regular intervals throughout Zack's memoir. This is a depiction of mental illness in all of its raw, unnerving honesty - and a true testament to the life-changing power a mother's love can deliver to you. Everybody needs a Bird in their life. — Stella Dwyer, Grazia
A startlingly moving memoir of mother and son, structural injustice, and inflammable mental illness. Gorilla and the Bird is as piss-cuttin' a pietà as anyone has any right to hope for. And Zack McDermott- the guy's a fleet, funny, unsentimental storyteller who manages that rare thing: he allows a damaged soul to be found.
This remarkable book illustrates Willam Osler's dictum, 'Ask not what disease the person has, but rather what person the disease has.' When that disease is bipolar disorder spiked with the Truman Show delusion, and that person is Zack McDermott, a terrific and terrifically funny writer, the result is an incredibly powerful read. Zack's mother, endlessly strong and supportive, reminds us that we also need to ask what family the disease has.
Zack McDermott's portrait of a mind under assault from bipolar illness is both fascinating and heartbreaking to observe, and he takes us into his experience with riveting intensity. But McDermott's real achievement is capturing the moving determination and steadfast love of the mother who saves him, the remarkable Bird who breaks the loneliness, quiets the fear, and gives him a home worth returning to.
This book is one of the gems of the year
Breathless, funny, absurd and often completely inappropriate . . . McDermott's insights on mental illness [are] extremely refreshing. The humour and affection with which McDermott describes both his clients and his fellow psych-ward inmates never veers into mawkishness or pity - a rare quality in literature on this topic. Understandably, writers often avoid making jokes about mental illness or those who suffer from it . . . but it is this unconventional approach that makes McDermott's writing so compelling. Those of us who have ever had a psychotic episode or a breakdown, or have ever been in psychiatric hospital, will know that there's a rich vein of dark humour bubbling beneath the surface. McDermott doesn't just acknowledge that: he revels in it, and the result is utterly charming.
Piatkus

Duped

Abby Ellin
Authors:
Abby Ellin

'Abby Ellin's writing is everything her fiancé pretended to be: witty, vulnerable, brave, smart, and honest.' -- Michael Finkel, author of The Stranger in the WoodsWhile leading a double life would seem to be the exclusive domain of psychopaths and undercover agents, thousands of 'regular people' keep extraordinary secrets from those closest to them. Duped is an investigation of compulsive liars - and how they fool their loved ones - drawing on Abby Ellin's personal experience.From the day Abby went on her first date with The Commander, she was caught up in a whirlwind. Within five months he'd proposed, and they'd moved in together. But there were red flags: strange stories of international espionage, involving Osama bin Laden and the Pentagon. Soon his stories began to unravel until she discovered, far later than she'd have liked, that he was a complete and utter fraud.When Ellin wrote about her experience in Psychology Today, the responses were unlike anything she'd experienced as a journalist. Legions of people wrote in with similar stories, of otherwise sharp-witted and self-aware people being taken in by ludicrous scams. Why was it so hard to spot these outlandish stories? Why were so many of the perpetrators male, and so many of the victims female? Was there something universal at play here?In Duped, New York Times journalist Abby Ellin explores the secret lives of compulsive liars, and the tragedy of those who trust them - who have experienced severe, prolonged betrayal - and the terrible impact on their sense of reality and their ability to trust ever again. Studying the art and science of lying, talking to victims who've had their worlds turned upside down, and writing with great openness about her own mistakes, she lays the phenomenon bare. Ellin offers us a shocking and intimate look not only at the damage that the duplicitous cause, but the painful reaction of a society that is all too quick to blame the believer.

Robinson

Talk

Elizabeth Stokoe
Authors:
Elizabeth Stokoe

We spend much of our days talking. Yet we know little about the conversational engine that drives our everyday lives. We are pushed and pulled around by language far more than we realize, yet are seduced by stereotypes and myths about communication.This book will change the way you think about talk. It will explain the big pay-offs to understanding conversation scientifically. Elizabeth Stokoe, a social psychologist, has spent over twenty years collecting and analysing real conversations across settings as varied as first dates, crisis negotiation, sales encounters and medical communication. This book describes some of the findings of her own research, and that of other conversation analysts around the world. Through numerous examples from real interactions between friends, partners, colleagues, police officers, mediators, doctors and many others, you will learn that some of what you think you know about talk is wrong. But you will also uncover fresh insights about how to have better conversations - using the evidence from fifty years of research about the science of talk.

Hachette Australia

Fatherhood

William McInnes
Authors:
William McInnes

William McInnes, one of Australia's best-known storytellers and actors, has turned to a subject that is close to his heart. Fatherhood is about family, about memories of his father and the memories he's creating as a dad himself, with his own son and daughter.Warm, witty and nostalgic, these tales are just like a friendly chat over the back fence, or the banter of a backyard BBQ. They will stir your own memories: of hot summer days and cooling off under the sprinkler while Dad works in the garden with the radio tuned to the sports results; that time Dad tried to teach you to drive - and then got out of the car and kissed the ground; or taking your own kids on a family road trip.Fatherhood is full of memories: the happy, the hilarious, the sad, bad, and the unexpectedly poignant moments. You will laugh, you may even cry - but you will recognise yourself and those you love somewhere in these pages.

Robinson

The Anxiety Epidemic

Graham Davey
Authors:
Graham Davey

Are we living in an age of unprecedented anxiety, or has this always been a problem throughout history?We only need look around us to see anxieties: in the family home, the workplace, on social media, and especially in the news. It's true that everyone feels anxious at some time in their lives, but we're told we're all feeling more anxious than we've ever been before - and for longer than we've ever done before. It's even reported that anxiety is a modern epidemic significant enough to challenge the dominance of depression as the most common mental health problem.Much of this increase has been attributed to changes in lifestyles that have led to more stress and pressure being placed on people: from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood. But that's a big claim. Going back over the generations, how anxious were people in 1968 or 1818? Are people just anxious all the time - regardless of what they do or when they lived? Is anxiety an inevitable consequence of simply being alive?Graham Davey addresses many important questions about the role of anxiety. What is it good for? What are the unique modern-day causes of our anxieties and stresses? What turns normal everyday anxiety into the disabling disorders that many of us experience - distressing and debilitating conditions such as phobias, social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, pathological worrying and post-traumatic stress disorder? To truly conquer anxiety, we need to understand why it has established its prominent place in our modern world.

Constable

Bethlehem

Nicholas Blincoe
Authors:
Nicholas Blincoe

The town of Bethlehem carries so many layers of meaning--some ancient, some mythical, some religious--that it feels like an unreal city, even to the people who call it home. Today, the city is hemmed in by a wall and surrounded by forty-one Israeli settlements and hostile settlers and soldiers. The population is undergoing such enormous strains it is close to falling apart. Any town with an eleven-thousand-year history has to be robust, but Bethlehem may soon go the way of Salonica or Constantinople: the physical site might survive, but the long thread winding back to the ancient past will have snapped, and the city risks losing everything that makes it unique.Still, for many, Bethlehem remains the "little town" of the Christmas song. Nicholas Blincoe will tell the history of the famous little town, through the visceral experience of living there, taking readers through its stone streets and desert wadis, its monasteries, aqueducts and orchards, showing the city from every angle and era. Inevitably, a portrait of Bethlehem will shed light on one of the world's most intractable political problems. Bethlehem is a much-loved Palestinian city, a source of pride and wealth but also a beacon of co-existence in a region where hopelessness, poverty and violence has become the norm. Bethlehem could light the way to a better future, but if the city is lost then the chances of an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict will be lost with it.

Sphere

This Will Only Hurt a Little

Busy Philipps
Authors:
Busy Philipps
Robinson

The Disordered Mind

Eric R. Kandel
Authors:
Eric R. Kandel
Hachette Audio

Jeopardy

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones
Authors:
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones

Jeopardy is the single greatest catalyst for making things happen in life.In Jeopardy, award-winning entrepreneur Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones argues that our natural instinct for caution is one of the greatest barriers to making progress in life, and shows how embracing jeopardy is essential if you want to succeed.Drawing on a life that has taken him from a deprived childhood in inner-city Birmingham to becoming one of the nation's most famous farmers, he demonstrates how we can all go further in life by learning to escape the fears that stop us from achieving our ambitions.Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones is no stranger to jeopardy: he remortgaged his house in 2005 to launch his brand 'The Black Farmer' from nothing. Its products are now stocked in all major supermarkets and the business has an annual turnover of several million. In this book, he shows that only by embracing jeopardy, and liberating ourselves from the shackles of uncertainty and self-doubt, can we realise our full potential.What could you achieve, if you decided to stop letting fear hold you back?

Virago

The Last Girl

Nadia Murad, Jenna Krajeski
Authors:
Nadia Murad, Jenna Krajeski
Constable

Heads Up

Alan Smith
Authors:
Alan Smith

Anfield '89. Copenhagen '94. Two of Arsenal's greatest triumphs in the modern era. Both matches defined by the goal-scoring prowess of one man - Alan 'Smudger' Smith.Smith's rise in football was vertiginous: playing for Alvechurch in the Southern League one year, competing in the top flight twelve months later. His first three years at Leicester were characterized by a successful partnership with Gary Lineker. When Lineker left for Everton, Smith stepped forward as the main goal-getter. It was Smith's move to Highbury, however, that enabled him to become the winner of two Golden Boots and one of the most highly-rated strikers in the game.Honest, insightful and authoritative, Heads Up reveals what it was like forging a career in the tough First Division of old before the glitz of the Premier League took hold; the ins and outs of playing for George Graham and rooming with Gazza; the truth behind Anfield '89; which team could easily have gone on to become the first 'Invincibles' had Chelsea not spoiled it one February afternoon; how the highs of the game can quickly be converted into morale-sapping lows; and how injury really does affect a career.After twenty years of writing for the Daily Telegraph, covering four World Cups, four European Championships and countless club games, Alan Smith has done what few ex-professionals are able to do - describe in his own words what it's really like to play the game . . .

Virago

You're on an Airplane

Parker Posey
Authors:
Parker Posey

From the 'Queen of the Indies' and star of Christopher Guest's Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, Woody Allen's Café Society and Irrational Man - and cult classics like Party Girl and Dazed and Confused - comes an irreverent, hilarious, and enchanting memoir full of personal stories, whimsical how-tos, recipes and eccentric illustrations.It's hard not to love Parker Posey. A singularly gifted actress with a wickedly funny personality that belies her movie star status, her cross-generational fame stems from starring roles in such unforgettable movies as Dazed and Confused, Party Girl, and You've Got Mail, her recurring roles in Christopher Guest's mockumentaries, including his most recent, Mascots, on Netflix - and her forthcoming role in Netflix's 2018 reboot of Lost in Space. With remarkable candour and a refreshing perspective on life in the spotlight, Posey opens up about the art of acting, life on the set, and the realities of its accompanying fame. She explores her relationships with brilliant directors like Christopher Guest and Woody Allen, as well as the nerves and expectations that come with the territory. A funny and authentic childhood set Posey up for a life of creating and entertaining, which not only extends to acting but to the craft of pottery, sewing, collage, yoga and cooking, all of which readers will find in this highly entertaining book. In You're On an Airplane, Posey delves into her personal style - unique, famously inspiring, and never indebted to trends--as well as her approach to everyday life on and off set. Laugh-out-loud advice from her legendary Greenwich Village therapist Mildred Newman appears alongside poignant portrayals of painful relationships and the love she has for her dog, Gracie. For fans of Nora Ephron's spot-on commentary, Jenny Lawson's absurdly comical foibles, Amy Sedaris's unexpectedly hilarious quips, and Carrie Brownstein's cool-girl appeal, You're On an Airplane proves Posey has a voice that will enchant fans and newcomers alike.

Robinson

Tell Me What You Want

Justin J. Lehmiller
Authors:
Justin J. Lehmiller
Grand Central Publishing

Choose Your Own Disaster

Dana Schwartz
Authors:
Dana Schwartz

A hilarious, quirky, and unflinchingly honest memoir about one young woman's terrible and life-changing decisions while hoping (and sometimes failing) to find herself, in the style of Never Have I Ever and Adulting. Join Dana Schwartz on a journey revisiting all of the terrible decisions she made in her early twenties through the internet's favorite method of self-knowledge: the quiz. Part-memoir, part-VERY long personality test, CHOOSE YOUR OWN DISASTER is a manifesto about the millennial experience and modern feminism and how the easy advice of "you can be anything you want!" is actually pretty fucking difficult when there are so many possible versions of yourself it seems like you could be. Dana has no idea who she is, but at least she knows she's a Carrie, a Ravenclaw, a Raphael, a Belle, a former emo kid, a Twitter addict, and a millennial just trying her best.

Center Street

My Seven Sons and How We Raised Each Other

Don Diamont
Authors:
Don Diamont
Constable

Forward

Marcia Barrett
Authors:
Marcia Barrett

Coming to London aged thirteen from desperate poverty in Jamaica; pregnant at fifteen after being abused by a family friend; fifteen years later singing in Boney M, one of the biggest international groups of the late-1970s; a messy group split and millions in unpaid royalties during the 1980s; a 1990s solo career interrupted by six bouts of cancer - ovarian, breast, lymph node (twice), spine and oesophagus - and having to learn to walk again. Yet throughout Marcia Barrett has remained totally cheerful, relentlessly optimistic and a shining inspiration, looking on every obstacle as a mere inconvenience rather than anything insurmountable. Now, she is ready to tell her fantastic story, which is much more than just a pop star autobiography. It is a charming, candid, laugh-out-loud story of survival, triumph, indomitable spirit and total upfullness, often driven by sheer force of will. It is also that very rare thing in British publishing, a feelgood story for black women that has real significance among the UK's African-Caribbean population - there are very few middle-aged black women in this country (a keen book-buying demographic) who didn't, as youngsters, have hairbraiding copied from Marcia Barrett. But of course it has a mainstream audience too: the battles against cancer are relevant to all women, as is much of her early personal life and balancing looking after her mother and son with life on the road in Boney M.

Da Capo Press

Infidelity

Kenneth Paul Rosenberg
Authors:
Kenneth Paul Rosenberg

What the latest science tells us about fidelity, infidelity, memory, the brain's reward systems, love, and sexIn both genders and across age groups, infidelity is on the rise. People often cheat in a haze of delusion, believing that it will bring them real love, help them have better sex, lift their spirits, and boost their sagging self-esteem; however, very often, cheating wrecks relationships and erodes self-esteem. Hundreds of people have sought Dr. Rosenberg's help as a psychiatrist to help them stop cheating and repair the damage caused by their affairs. In Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat, Dr. Rosenberg explains what draws men and women to cheat and what they can do about it. He explains the three types of cheating: emotional, virtual, and physical; why they're so prevalent; and how to survive when either you or your partner are drawn to stray. Infidelity takes an objective and evidence-based approach to why men and women today cheat, drawing from the latest research in neuroscience and from Rosenberg's own clinical practice to reveal the mechanics of the sexual brain. And through concrete rules, Rosenberg guides couples on how to prevent cheating, stop it from progressing, and repair the damage caused by an affair. Infidelity provides key insights that show a couple how to find their true sexual and romantic potential and advocates honesty, trust, and integrity - the fundamentals of love.

Hachette Books

A Speck in the Sea

John Aldridge, Anthony Sosinski
Authors:
John Aldridge, Anthony Sosinski
Piatkus

Your Superstar Brain

Kaja Nordengen
Authors:
Kaja Nordengen

**THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER**'A brilliant book' - DagbladetWhy does the brain work the way it does? Can eating certain foods improve your memory? Can you activate the parts of the brain you don't use? Can you smile yourself to happiness? What is free will, and do we really possess it?These big questions, and many more, are investigated to uncover all the secrets of your most wondrous, mysterious and irreplaceable organ. Your brain makes you who you are - it is the root of your personality and intelligence. It learns languages, creates memories and interprets complex patterns. But it is also responsible for your bad decisions and it rewards addictive behaviours.In Your Superstar Brain, neuroscientist Dr Kaja Nordengen describes in mesmerising detail how the brain works - both how it's physically constructed with neurones, synapses and the cerebral cortex, but also how it functions on a more abstract level - everything from what happens when we fall in love to where we find our sense of self.Join Dr Kaja Nordengen on her fascinating journey through the many unexplored territories of the intricate human brain, and find out why your brain is truly a superstar.

Virago

The Wind in My Hair

Masih Alinejad
Authors:
Masih Alinejad

'A must-read for anyone who cares about women's equality' Sheryl Sandberg'A flame-thrower for the rights of women who live under the thumb of repression and injustice' Tina BrownBBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEKThis memoir is the extraordinary story of how one woman, Masih Alinejad, an awe-inspiring journalist and activist from a small village in Iran, overcame enormous adversity to fight for what she truly believed and founded a major movement for women around the world with the simple removal of her hijab.It all started with a single photo, a bold statement on Masih's Facebook page: a woman standing proudly, her face bare, her beautiful, curly hair blowing in the wind. Her crime: simply removing her veil, or hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran. This is the photo that sparked a social-media liberation movement, 'My Stealthy Freedom'. Across Iran, women started posting pictures of their uncovered hair on Masih's page in open defiance of the strict religious beliefs of their country (and often, their families) while sharing their personal stories about this powerful mode of expression. With the creation of 'My Stealthy Freedom' Masih has gained over one million supporters around the world, and inspired Islamic women everywhere to take a stand for their basic human rights. She's been covered by the media from Vogue, to the Guardian, the New York Times and beyond. Last year she was the recipient of the Women's Rights Award from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. But behind the scenes of this movement, Masih has been fighting a painful personal battle. She is a divorcee -- a sin equivalent to prostitution in Iranian culture. As a reporter, Masih has been actively speaking out against the government's corrupt policies for more than a decade, and has faced abuse and slander at every turn. In 2009 she went abroad during the Iranian presidential election with hopes of interviewing Barack Obama. Before the interview could take place, the elections were stolen, Masih's newspaper was shut down, and thousands of Iranians were arrested. She was expelled from her own country, and separated from her only son. Although she eventually was able to take her son abroad, she has not returned to Iran or seen her family in years. To this day, Masih has faith that one day she will be reunited with her homeland.A defiant, inspiring voice for women's rights, Masih Alinejad speaks for women everywhere.'Intriguing and inspiring . . . her voice is so important to the Iranian people's struggles for freedom and democracy' Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

Hachette Books

Life After Darkness

Michelle Knight
Authors:
Michelle Knight