Welcome to My Breakdown is a memoir about best-selling author, Benilde Little’s loss of her mother and loss of her self as a writer, which plummeted her in to a pit of clinical depression.
A major bestselling novelist and former magazine editor, long married to a handsome and successful stockbroker with whom she has a beautiful daughter and son, Benilde Little had every reason to feel on top of the world. But as illness, financial problems and the ultimate blow, losing her beloved mother, interrupted her seemingly perfect life, she took a tailspin into a pit of clinical depression.
Told in her own fearless and wise voice, Welcome to My Breakdown chronicles a cavern of depression so dark that Benilde didn’t know if she’d ever recover from what David Foster Wallace called “a nausea of the soul.” In this compelling read, she writes about everything from growing up in Newark, her membership in the Nation of Islam, dating a married man while still a teenager, to the loss in her ability to work—to write. She was lost and when her beloved, indomitable, southern-born mother died, the pain became unbearable.
Writing in the courageous tradition of great female storytellers such as Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Joan Didion, Pearl Cleage, Nora Ephron, and Sista Souljah, Benilde doesn’t hold back as she shares insights, inspiration, and intimate details of her life. Powerful, relatable, and ultimately redemptive, Welcome to My Breakdown is a remarkable memoir about the power within us all to rise from despair and to feel hope and joy again.
Order your copy here and please purchase copies for friends who might need the lift.
Terrie M. Williams Speaks
"When we face the fire and come out on the other side, we learn what it is we are called to do. Benilde has written so beautifully and eloquently about the soul-crushing experience of depression — whether it is named or not. Throughout this defining journey, we see, hear, and feel deeply the signs of a despair that longs for light and relief. The healing is in us sharing our stories with one another... and knowing we are not alone."
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Listed below are 5 ways that you can help support Benilde. Buy the book to read for yourself because she's a great writer and buy another to share with a friend who may be dealing with depression. Go here.
1. Retweet on TwitterClick here to see our book launch tweet. Press "Retweet" to share with your followers. Follow Benilde here.
2. Share on Facebook
Click here to listen to Benilde read from the book. Press "Share" to post it on your wall.
3. Follow Hashtag: #WelcomeToMyBreakdownUse #WelcomeToMyBreakdown to join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Benilde will give daily updates on her book reviews and media appearances on Facebook. Follow her here or follow the hashtag.
4. Post to Instagram or Pin to PinterestSpread the word and deepen the conversation by pinning this to Pinterest or regram on Instagram. Share this statement: Welcome to My Breakdown: A Memoir by Benilde Little will save lives. Many of us breakdown before we 'break through'. Some break down and stay there. Benilde Little's book can help with the 'break through' without the breakdown. Talking about mental illness in the black community has always been taboo...but Benilde is putting it front and center. #WelcomeToMyBreakdown
5. Host Benilde on Your BlogClick here to download our promo image, then write your own blog post. Example below:
Welcome to My Breakdown: A Memoir by Benilde Little
“For years, before the break in my world, I’d been sitting on myself, not being fully me, only showing up in pieces; showing different parts to different people. I wanted to be numb; to not feel, at least not too much. My mother was gone and I never thought I would survive her death.” – from Welcome to My Breakdown
Bestselling novelist BENILDE LITTLE offers readers her first nonfiction work, the memoir, WELCOME TO MY BREAKDOWN (Atria Books, On Sale April 21, 2015; $26.00), an intimate, profoundly moving chronicle of her struggle with loss and clinical depression.
A critically acclaimed writer and former magazine editor, Benilde Little inhabited a lush suburban world, with a handsome, successful husband, two beautiful children, a stunning home, and a network of close friends. Her prosperity was born from the hard work of her loving parents, strivers whose dreams for their daughter surpassed their working class origins. First among equals, was Clara, a devoted and selfless mother whose determination and emotional support sustained her daughter, as a writer, wife, and mother herself. When aging and illness overtook her parents, Benilde Little’s life unwound into clinical depression.
Welcome to My Breakdown charts a writer’s descent into a cavern of depression, so dark and encompassing that she didn’t know if she’d ever recover from what David Foster Wallace called “a nausea of the soul”. With candor and honesty, Little reveals how an impenetrable despair stole her ability to write and create. Through pain and grief, she reflects on her Newark upbringing, where her mother was a stalwart community organizer, a brief infatuation with the Nation of Islam, doubts about her marriage, and the shifting priorities of age from childcare to eldercare.
Writing in the courageous tradition of great female storytellers such as Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, and Pearl Cleage, Little is unafraid of being vulnerable. With persistence and introspection, Little navigates the darkness and shares her struggle and her ultimate path toward healing. Welcome to My Breakdown is a remarkable memoir about resilience and the power of love.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
"Welcome To My Breakdown will put you face-to-face with the realities of personal pain. What Benilde shares is a heroic demonstration of how to turn depression and loss into a path back to self. Her willingness to be open and authentic creates a healing prescription for us all. What a blessing!"
(Iyanla Vanzant, author of In the Meantime and Every Day I Pray on Welcome to My Breakdown)
"Benilde Little takes the fabric of suffering and weaves it into a raw, honest, and wonderful story of love and loss. Readers who have felt the depth of enduring sadness will see themselves in this deeply moving memoir."
(Janet Taylor, MD, MPH on Welcome to My Breakdown)
"When we face the fire and come out on the other side, we learn what it is we are called to do. Benilde has written so beautifully and eloquently about the soul-crushing experience of depression -- whether it is named or not. Throughout this defining journey, we see, hear, and feel deeply the signs of a despair that longs for light and relief. The healing is in us sharing our stories with one another... and knowing we are not alone."
(Terrie M. Williams, author of Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting)
Order Welcome to My Breakdown: A Memoir by Benilde Little
About the Author
Benilde Little is the bestselling author of the novels Good Hair, The Itch, Acting Out and Who Does She Think She Is? She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Essence, Jet, People Magazine, Heart and Soul, More magazine, and Black Pearls Magazine among many others. She has had numerous media appearances including NPR, the Today Show, and Tavis Smiley.
The Go On Girl Book Club selected Good Hair as the best book of the year. Natalie Cole bought the film rights. Benilde’s writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Honey Hush and About Face. She was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.
A former reporter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Star Ledger, People and senior editor at Essence, she has been a creative writing professor at Ramapo College. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, two children and dog.