Where the Roots Reach for Water: A Personal and Natural History of Melancholia (Paperback)

Where the Roots Reach for Water: A Personal and Natural History of Melancholia By Jeffery Smith Cover Image
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Winner of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir

Jeffery Smith was living in Missoula, Montana, working as a psychiatric case manager when his own clinical depression began. Eventually, all his prescribed antidepressant medications proved ineffective. Unlike so many personal accounts, Where the Roots Reach for Water tells the story of what happened to Smith after he decided to give them up. Trying to learn how to make a life with his illness, Smith sets out to get at the essence of--using the old term for depression--melancholia.

Deftly woven into his "personal history" is a "natural history" of this ancient illness. Drawing on centuries of art, writing and medical treatises, Smith finds ancient links between melancholia and spirituality, love and sex, music and philosophy, gardening, and, importantly, our relationship with landscapes.

About the Author

Jeffery Smith was born in West Virginia. He lives with his wife, Lisa Werner, in the Appalachian foothills of Coshocton County, Ohio. Where the Roots Reach for Water is his first book.

Praise For…

“More than a struggle about one man's struggle with his dark side: It's also a fascinating and highly idiosyncratic exploration of the illness, its history, and its place in the larger world.” —Diane White, The Boston Globe

“Jeffrey Smith has written a gripping personal memoir of melancholia . . . He throws wonderful curve balls at his topic, using creative devices and poetic writing to get at the depth and range of depression.” —Cynthia Crossen, The Wall Street Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9780865475922
ISBN-10: 086547592X
Publisher: North Point Press
Publication Date: February 15th, 2001
Pages: 304
Language: English