When putting together the Further Reading, it was difficult to decide where to put Mr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt. While one of the main characters in this book is a talking dog, the most important part of this book is not the dog himself, but what he represents: depression. Affecting the lives of both Winston Churchill and librarian Esther Hammerhaus, depression and suicide take the form of a black dog, just as Churchill described figuratively in his writing.
This collection of memoirs and essays look at the beast that is depression and how it affects those who suffer from the illness and those who are close to its victims.
Half in Love by Linda Gray Sexton is a memoir in the tradition of Darkness Visible, but with the additional element of Sexton’s role as mother and as a daughter to poet Anne Sexton, who succeeded in committing suicide after many attempts. The legacy of suicide, the fact that you are much more likely to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts, is very real and Linda writes beautifully and honestly about what it is like to be under the spell of depression.
Unholy Ghosts, edited by Nell Casey, is a collection of essays by authors about depression that offers perspectives similar to that of Sexton’s and Styron’s, but also from family members of those who are depressed, including Styron’s wife.