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5.0 out of 5 starsAn authentic voice.
Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2019
I was struck by the authenticity of this author's voice and story. This little book is the documentation of the author's experiences and thoughts during a difficult period of her life. You, the reader, will likely come away w/the impression that you have shared deeply with this young woman's experience. As a writer myself, I seek to both write and live a life of authenticity and compassion. Ms. Browning presents her story as a very "real" one, unique, yet written in a manner that many women -- and men -- can connect with at some level. If you are a reader, writer or a individual involved in therapy or as a therapist or psychologist, you will find this a most engrossing little read.
5.0 out of 5 starsWe bear witness to change and transformation through the lens of vulnerability as strength.
Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2018
Radical authenticity is most definitely the way forward. In L.M. Browning’s most recent book, To Lose the Madness: Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity (Little Bound Books Essay Series, Homebound Publications, 2018), we bear witness to change and transformation through the lens of vulnerability as strength. Browning reminds us that human connection is not only healing, it is a necessity. “Humanity is starved for connection. We see manifestations of this emptiness in our toxic lifestyles. We binge on all things, be it work, food, alcohol, shopping, digital distractions, and so on, in an effort to quell this acidic loneliness burning through us.” With great courage and honesty, Browning shares with us her own path of challenges and deep loss, and we come to realize that whatever we are facing in life, we can evolve and flourish. This is not done by burying the hurt or loss, but by acknowledging it, and bringing it to the surface, with great love for the self. You are not alone. To Lose the Madness is an inspiring journey, which you will want to return to for its golden source of wisdom and light.
—Cristina M. R. Norcross, Editor of Blue Heron Review, author of Amnesia and Awakenings and Still Life Stories
Too often we are afraid to discuss mental illness, even when it may benefit others. Browning is not afraid to go into that arena. Radical authenticity, indeed. This book will make you think and feel, both good things.
This is the sort of book that opens a window into another person's struggles, allowing in the light, inviting in the reader and making the darkness something we can talk about. The subtitle "field notes on trauma, loss, and radical authenticity" is spot-on. This brief book plumbs the depths of loss in a candid and approachable way. Highly recommended, especially when you need something that will hook you immediately, keep you close, and not overwhelm you with either length or extraneous explanations.
Just as in my favorite books, To Lose the Madness is an author’s manifesto of some of her deepest truths, an unapologetic and articulate exploration of her darkest moments and the touchstones that got her through them. It takes a skillful writer to invite readers into her head and heart, allowing us to witness without asking us to bear the weight of her experiences, and Browning does just that. We need more books like this, more storytellers like this, more radical authenticity to help us reframe our own struggles and feel less alone as we navigate our own darkest times. My only critique is that I wish it were longer. I look forward to more nonfiction from L.M. Browning.
5.0 out of 5 starsYet this work is wonderfully similar to her others in that it invites the ...
Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2018
I’ve long been a believer that owning our stories—as opposed to allowing them to own us—and sharing them with others, opens doors. Radical authenticity leads to conversations, a realization that we’re not alone in our suffering and , ultimately, healing.
I’m a huge fan of Leslie’s work. To Lose the Madness is starkly different from her previous publications in that she dives into some deeply personal material. Yet this work is wonderfully similar to her others in that it invites the reader to engage in self-reflection and ask the bigger, philosophical questions regarding how we live our lives and how we respond when things seem out of control. I highly recommend checking out this little book that has such a powerful punch.