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Gayle Brandeis’ interprets her mother’s suicide in compelling memoir

By in Press Enterprise on November 19, 2017

By Cati Porter

“Dear Mom,
My therapist suggested I write to you. She thought it might help me find some clarity, help me understand how I am feeling about everything. It’s good advice — I often don’t know know what I know until I write it down.
I wish I knew where to begin.
I suppose I could write WHY?…”

And so begins the first chapter of Gayle Brandeis’ memoir, “The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother’s Suicide,” which was released Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Author Gayle Brandeis will read from her new memoir at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at Cellar Door Books in Riverside.

I have been lucky enough to call Gayle a friend since the late 1990s, when I was big and pregnant and she was just beginning to become a name in the literary community. Reading Gayle’s memoir, for me, was like turning her story inside out.

For those who don’t know her work, Gayle Brandeis is the author of several novels, most of them set in the Inland Empire, including “Self Storage,” which stretches from Mount Baldy to the student housing development at UC Riverside, and her Bellwether-prize winning debut novel, “The Book of Dead Birds,” which takes place at the Salton Sea.

A graduate of the University of Redlands and a former resident of both Riverside and Redlands, she was a beloved member of the Inland Southern California literary community for many years. In fact, from 2012-2014, Gayle was Inlandia’s Literary Laureate, speaking at schools and leading writing workshops. She is well-known here, both professionally and personally. So maybe none of what she reveals in her new memoir comes as a surprise.

For those of us lucky enough to know Gayle, we already know the outlines of the story: Gayle’s mother, Arlene Brandeis, hung herself in a parking garage just after Gayle had given birth to her […]    

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