In the Jaws of the Black Dogs:
A Memoir of Depression

John Bentley Mays


In this courageous memoir, John Bentley Mays gives us a riveting account of what it is to live in the shadow of debilitating depression. Weaving intimate recollections with excerpts from the diaries he kept for thirty years, Mays illuminates the struggle that leads to breakdown and the uneasy truce achieved through psychotherapy. Along the way, he offers provocative commentary on the allure of cure, the cultural scripts of normality, and the distorting mirror of clinical language. A literary tour de force that began with an award winning essay, In the Jaws of the Black Dogs is not an objective analysis composed from the safety of hindsight. It is a writer's attempt to evoke the silent and distorting malignancyas well as the moments of reprieveof the only life he has ever known. Above all, he offers readers hope: Although the black dogs cannot be entirely avoided, humor and the love and understanding of family and friends can keep the dogs at bay.


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