My brother's madness

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My Brother's Madness is based on the author's relationship with his brother - who had a psychotic breakdown in his late forties - and explores the unfolding of two intertwined lives and the nature of delusion. Circumstances lead one brother from juvenile crime on the streets of Brooklyn to war-torn Vietnam, to a fast-track life as a Hollywood publicist and to owning and operating The Tin Palace, one of New York's most legendary jazz clubs, while his brother falls into, and fights his way back from, a delusional psychosis.

My Brother's Madness is part thriller, part exploration that not only describes the causes, character, and journey of mental illness, but also makes sense of it. It is ultimately a story of our own humanity, and answers the question, Am I my brother's keeper?

To purchase please go to Northwestern University Press or Amazon, where it is also available as a Kindle e book.

                                                                                                                     ADIRONDACK CENTER FOR WRITING BEST MEMOIR AWARD 2007

                                                                                                                     ADIRONDACK CENTER FOR WRITING BEST MEMOIR AWARD 2007

“Great writing, no doubt about it.”
— Andre Codrescu, NPR
“My Brother’s Madness” is part thriller, part an exploration that not only describes the causes, character, and journey of mental illness, but also makes sense of it. It is ultimately the story of our own humanity.
— Kirkus Review
“My Brother’s Madness” emerges as a triumph in behavioral science literature.
— Journal of the American Psychiatric Association
In this gracefully written memoir, poet and novelist (and practicing psychotherapist) Pines narrates his and his younger brother’s lives through the matrix of his brother’s mental illness. A bright and sensitive child, Claude Pines was damaged by his parents’ divorce, an unstable mother and relentless persecution at the hands of his father’s monstrous second wife. The story alternates between scenes from the Pines brothers’ childhood and Claude’s descent into paranoid schizophrenia, an illness that began to assert itself when Claude was a promising medical student and which inexorably drove him into a marginal life. The author deftly handles the complex structure, and the writing compels with rich characters, black humor and clear evocations of locales ranging from an upper-class Brooklyn neighborhood in the 1950s to the drug-blighted Alphabet City of Manhattan’s Lower East Side of the 1960s. Paul Pines resists making easy diagnoses and illustrates the complicated relationship between environmental and hereditary causes for a disease like Claude’s. While the narrative loses some of its intensity over its last third as Claude slowly remakes himself as spokesperson for his fellow sufferers and Paul settles into a solid middle-class life, it remains engaging throughout. Never descending into easy sentimentality, Pines portrays the family tragedy of mental illness and the bare possibility of redemption we have in this life. (Oct.)
— Publisher's Weekly
Take what pain, hope and sorrow, and maddness there is in this world, pass it through an alembic of an educated sensibility and a deep, nformed compassion, and you might be lucky enough to reach “My Brother’s Madness.”
— James Hollis, Jungian Analyst, and author of "Why People Do Bad Things"
Few books nourish the psyche and stir the heart as much as “My Brother’s Madness.”
— David Unger, author of "Life in the Damn Tropics"
This is not an easy take to read but it conveys stunning depictions of emotional suffering.
— Henry Grinberg, American Book Review

The quote above is from the American Book Review below.

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