A little over a year ago, my first anthology, Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, hit shelves. In the midst of that excitement, I sold a second anthology focused entirely on mental health. Though I’ve shared bits and pieces of the process of that anthology, today I wanted to pull together all of the information so far in one place.
(Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 30+ Voices Start The Conversation About Mental Health is the full name of the anthology, and it will hit shelves on October 2. Here’s the description from the galley copy:
What does it mean to be crazy? Is using the word crazy offensive? What happens when such a label gets attached to your everyday experiences?
In order to understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things — wild? extreme? disturbed? passionate? — to different people.
(Don’t) Call Me Crazy is a conversation starter and guide to better understanding how our mental health affects us every day. Thirty-three writers, athletes, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore their personal experiences with mental illness, how we do and do not talk about mental health, help for better understanding how every person’s brain is wired differently, and what, exactly, might make someone crazy.
If you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, or know someone who has, come on in, turn the pages, and let’s get talking.
The book was incredibly difficult to put together, in part because of how raw and honest and unflinching the contributors to this collection were in their words and art. It’s really humbling to edit work like that, and as someone who really picks up on the emotional experiences of others, it took a lot more time and energy to read and edit than anticipated.
Which is to say, these pieces are powerful.
And since I’ve yet to officially reveal the full contributor list, here is that. Please note: more than one contributor chose to use a pseudonym, in part because of how tough these stories are to share, and I’ve honored those requests here, as well as in the collection itself. This is a really exciting and fabulously eclectic array of familiar writers, celebrities, musicians, athletes, and artists, along with emerging voices. Working with this mix of contributors was an incredible experience, as everyone brought something different to the table.
Monique Bedard (Aura)
Sarah Hannah Gómez
Shaun David Hutchinson
Clint Van Winkle
Esmé Weijun Wang
S. Zainab Williams
As for a sneak peek into what it is this book takes on, here are just a few of the topics: anxiety and depression, addiction, disordered eating, autism, PTSD, surviving a traumatic school shooting, what the label “crazy” does and does not mean, and, perhaps most important to me and to what this collection speaks to, what it means to be “okay.”
Add (Don’t) Call Me Crazy to your Goodreads to-read here.
No cover just yet, but I’ve seen a basic idea of the concept and cannot wait to see the final product and share.