Sunbathing in the Rain: A Cheerful Book about Depression
"Depression is a disease of the imagination. This means that the depressive suffers from a faulty mechanism, in the way he or she pictures reality, is a forger of his or her own life."
This might well be the Age of Depression. More people than ever now experience the disease directly or see a friend or relative succumb to it. Among their number is Gwyneth Lewis. And she set about writing this book simply because she wished something like it had existed for her when she was in the middle of her depression.
Depression is assassination. And the depressive is both victim and detective - charged with tracking down the perpetrator of his or her own murder. By drawing on her own experience of tussling with the affliction, by highlighting ways of coping, ways of truth-telling, ways of thriving, in a straightforward, robust fashion full of casual wisdom and easy wit, Gwyneth re-embarks on a journey that nearly killed her first time round and returns with this, perhaps the first truly undogmatic, undemanding, downright useful book about depression.
"I started reading this book on a rainy afternoon and read it right through without stopping to late evening. I was seized by its rhythm of discovery, its humour, courage and sharp-eyed insight. Gwyneth truly draws on literature, bringing to bear writers from everywhere and every time as part of present experience. And she is wonderfully down-to-earth in her advice." Gillian Beer
(Harper Perennial 2002) [ HarperCollins ]
Sunbathing in the Rain - Reviews
'Undoubtedly the best book I have ever read about one person's experience of depression.'
'Sunbathing in the Rain is both witty and wise: a profound musing on the problem of depression that is deeply informed yet full of hope and cheer.'
Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
'Gwyneth Lewis writes with clarity, beauty and metaphorical precision. She conveys the darkness, the silence, the selfishness, the mental clutter of depression brilliantly.'
Simon Hattenstone, Guardian
'What gives the book its edge is her determination that the illness must be seen as an early warning system, to be welcomed as a timely indication that something needs addressing. This upbeat, very readable and engaging view of depression as a temporary retrenchment, a breathing space in which to adjust better to life, makes encouraging reading.'