Wednesday, June 8, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase The End of Miracles by Monica Starkman

“Monica Starkman offers a penetrating look at the drastic capabilities of the obsessed mind. Written beautifully and carefully, at just the right pace, The End of Miracles is a thoroughly compelling piece of work.”—Roger Rosenblatt, New York Times bestselling author, literary editor of The New Republic, essayist forWashington Post and Time magazine

“Starkman, a prominent psychiatrist, beautifully captures one woman’s journey through depression in this superbly well-written and gripping first novel, which powerfully reveals the complexity and strength of the human mind.” —Booklist

The End of Miracles is about  the psychological unraveling of a woman whose deep need to bear a child is sabotaged by infertility and miscarriage.  Her losses and grief lead to a wish-fulfilling false pregnancy. When that fantasy is inevitably dashed by reality, she becomes deeply depressed and must be hospitalized.  But, once there, she fears that the sometimes-chaotic environment is making her worse, and she flees. Alone on the city streets, she develops a new fantasy – now close to a delusion -  and impulsively commits a crime with devastating consequences for herself and others. 
As she works hard with a psychiatrist and progresses towards healing, we see not just the complexities but also the strengths of the human mind.

Monica StarkmanDr. Monica Starkman is a psychiatrist who is a faculty member of the University of Michigan Medical School Department of Psychiatry in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is a clinician and a scientific researcher. Many of her publications in the scientific literature highlight concerns and conditions of women, such as the first study of women’s reactions to the use of fetal monitoring during labor. She has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a recognized expert on the effects of stress hormones on mood and on brain structure. Dr. Starkman has also published in The New Republic and Vogue magazine. She writes for Psychology Today online as one of their experts.

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. Personally,  the chance to explore and develop potentialities I might have to be the writer of fiction. Also, to give something back to the world of literature in return for the pleasure I have received from reading. Professionally, as a psychiatrist, to show psychiatry and psychiatrists are not evil as so often portrayed in books and movies, and to show that the seriously mentally ill are not that different from the rest of us.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. Hearing the response of readers to The End of Miracles.  That’s what I enjoy, either in person or through Skype with book clubs.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Throwing away chapters you love because they interfere with the pace of the story.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. I am already it:  an academic psychiatrist who has done clinical work, teaching and scientific research.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A.  Actually, I am now writing a memoir,  so I would love to know that!

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. All time is hard, there have been so many.  My favorite book of recent days is All the Light We Cannot See.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Maybe Nancy Drew?  Her curiosity, her taste for adventure and novelty – all available in the scientific part of my career, which involves wresting secrets from Mother Nature.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
A.  Hopefully, the empathic and skilled psychiatrist.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. This is stumping me – it would need to be a book about being near the ocean,  and one which is not tragic.

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. Spring – I love the fresh green and the bursting into bloom.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. I had a wonderfully creative cover designer, Julie Metz. She offered five completely different cover design concepts,  and the one I chose is the one closest to the feeling and suspense of The End of Miracles.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. It’s serendipity. On the day of my book launch event,  I received the announcement that I was a finalist in the International Book Awards literary fiction category.  And seeing that Pope Francis was also on the list in the children’s category for his new book about letters he has received from children.

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. My memoir.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  Hello! Please visit me at my Facebook Author Page  And leave some comments on my posts. I am eager to hear from you.

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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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