Title: A Waltz Through La La Land
Subtitle: A Depression Survivor's Memoir
Author: R. David Smola
This book details 22-year-old David's four-and-a-half month stay in a private psychiatric hospital as he battles severe depression. The narrative explores the territory of hospitalization and exposes the positive atmosphere and effective professionals who helped nurse David back to health. The events leading up to his breakdown are revealed in a third-person narrative, as are the extraordinary events of life under observation. David is portrayed as a real person because this work is based on the author's own experience. David's pain emerges from the pages, as does the irony of his interaction with the professionals paid to make him well. The story explores an enriched emotional landscape, from the humorous situations created when David encounters his new environment to the gut-wrenching tension created when David attempts to escape and commit suicide when out on pass. The reader is left asking, Is the waltz theme another of the author's mechanisms to rise above this depressing episode in his life?
From the author:
A Waltz Through La La Land: A Depression Survivor's Memoir was written nearly 19 years ago as a cathartic exercise to get some understanding of the experience I had just been through (a 4-1/2 month psychiatric hospitalization). It was written in the third person because, at the time, it was easier to say "he" than it was to say "I." Additionally, I took some poetic license and changed some of the minutiae. The story is based on my own experience, but there are a few details, characters, etc., that were blurred or changed, and a few situations that were fictionalized. Nonetheless, the majority of the story is what actually happened; I even purchased a copy of my hospital record, because I needed it to fill in some gaps when my memory couldn't recall.
Pages: 214 perfect bound
Size: 6 x 9
Publication date: January 22, 2010