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Does mental illness define identity? How do we see ourselves—and how do others see us—during times of distress? These are among the questions New Yorker writer Rachel Aviv probes in her debut book, a deeply reported exploration of mental illness. In addition to detailing her own experience being hospitalized at age 6 with anorexia, Aviv introduces a handful of other people who have lived with mental illness and examines how sociocultural factors shaped their journeys, and why medication often falls short. She writes with empathy and nuance. —Angela Haupt

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