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Irish Book Week: The Scar – Mary Cregan in conversation with Catríona Crowe

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Books Upstairs

17 D'Olier Street

Dublin 2

Ireland

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‘A searing and riveting book. … the sheer clarity of the writing,

the personal fragility and the wrestling with demons

emerging here with a kind of grace, a hard-won heroism.’

COLM TÓIBÍN

‘Intensely personal, warmly and unflinchingly intimate, yet wide-ranging, informative, even scholarly — beautifully and persuasively written. Unlike any other memoir I have read.’

JOYCE CAROL OATES

‘What makes this immensely helpful and beautifully written book so moving is the way the author keeps unpeeling one layer after another of her experience, with such exquisite patience and intelligence that it is

impossible not to care or identify with her.’

PHILLIP LOPATE

author of The Art of the Personal Essay

‘This powerful debut memoir ... offers hope as well as valuable insights for those living with depression.’

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Mary Cregan was twenty-seven, married, and living what looked like an enviable life when she gave birth to her first child, Anna, who died of a fatal heart defect after two days. The severe depression that engulfed her went undiagnosed at a time when clinical depression was not widely recognized or understood. Treatment came too late to prevent her nearly lethal suicide attempt in a psychiatric hospital where she underwent a prolonged course of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT).

Decades on, bearing the physical and emotional scars of her bleakest years, Mary reflects on that traumatic experience and how she learned to manage a life interrupted by recurrent depressive illness. This profoundly moving memoir explores loss and mourning, melancholia, ECT, the asylum and the development of antidepressant drugs, mapping a journey within the long and as yet incomplete movement towards effective treatment and cure. Intimate and informative, The Scar endeavours to educate and to heal. In the words of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke: ‘Just keep going. No feeling is final.’

Join Mary Cregan in conversation with Catríona Crowe as she discusses her memoir, The Scar. Donations from this event will go to Pieta House.

***

Born in Philadelphia, Mary Cregan attended Middlebury College and received her PhD from Columbia University. She lives in New York City and lectures in English literature at Barnard College.

Catriona Crowe is Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland and Manager of the Irish Census Online Project. A Chairperson of the SAOL Project rehabilitation initiative, of the Inner City Renewal Group and the Irish Theatre Institute, Catriona is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy. Alongside her contributions as Honorary President to the Irish Labour History Society, she is an editor of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy and the editor of Dublin 1911.

In 2006, Pieta House opened its doors in Lucan, County Dublin and since that day they have seen and helped over 40,000 people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm, and established fifteen subsequent centres across Ireland. They provide free counselling, therapy and support to individuals, couples, families and children who have been bereaved by suicide. For more information, click here.

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Books Upstairs

17 D'Olier Street

Dublin 2

Ireland

View Map

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