A heart-wrenching, yet hopeful, memoir of a young marriage that is redefined by mental illness and affirms the power of love.
Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at 18, married at 24, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was 27, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted -- the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.
Eventually, Giulia fully recovered, and the couple had a son. But, soon after Jonas was born, Giulia had another breakdown, and then a third a few years after that. Pushed to the edge of the abyss, everything the couple had once taken for granted was upended.
A story of the fragility of the mind, and the tenacity of the human spirit,
My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we care for the people we love? What and who do we live for? Breathtaking in its candor, radiant with compassion, and written with dazzling lyricism, Lukach’s book is an intensely personal odyssey through the harrowing years of his wife’s mental illness, anchored by an abiding devotion to family that will affirm readers’ faith in the power of love.
Mark Lukach is a teacher and freelance writer. His work has been published in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Wired, and other publications. He is currently the ninth grade dean at The Athenian School, where he also teaches history. He lives with his wife, Giulia, and their son in the San Francisco Bay Area.Mark first wrote about Giulia in a New York Times “Modern Love” column and again in a piece for Pacific Standard Magazine, which was the magazine’s most-read article in 2015.
Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, 30-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she'd realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth's father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her and her grief. Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor and unexpected tenderness,
Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.
Rachel Khong grew up in Southern California, and holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Florida. From 2011 to 2016, she was the managing editor then executive editor of Lucky Peach magazine. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Tin House, Joyland, American Short Fiction, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, and California Sunday. She lives in San Francisco. Goodbye, Vitamin is her first novel.
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