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Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir Paperback – Illustrated, Nov. 6 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 497 ratings

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From the Publisher

Product description


A Washington Post Best Book of 2012

Named one of the best books of the year by East Bay Express

Named Best Graphic Novel of Fall 2012 by Time

"Brutally honest and deeply moving, the book is by turns dark, mordant, and hilarious. One of this year's best American memoirs." —Philadelphia Inquirer

“Forney’s exhilarating and enlightening autobiographical portrait of her bipolar disorder (otherwise known as manic depression), takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster….  Her clear and thoughtful art provides a powerful, effective and brilliant illumination of this unforgettable adventure.”
Miami Herald

"Ellen Forney's memoir of her bipolar diagnosis and long pharmacopic trek toward balance is painfully honest and joyously exuberant. Her drawings evoke the neuron-crackling high of mania and the schematic bleakness of depression with deft immediacy. Forney is at the height of her powers as she explores the tenuous line between mood disorders and creativity itself."
Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

“Dense with intellectual and emotional power, Forney's book is a treasure—as a memoir, as an artwork, and as a beautifully conceived and executed commentary on both mental experience and the creative life. With wit, humor, a wicked sense of the absurd, and eloquent insight into the beauty that shines through the mercurial life of the mind, this graphic memoir explores its subject with a particular precision and power. Forney should be read.”
—Marya Hornbacher, author of Madness: A Bipolar Life

"Ellen's work has always been hilarious and sharp, but Marbles has an emotional resonance that shows new depth as an artist and a writer. This is an extremely personal, brave, and rewarding book."
—Dan Savage, editor of It Gets Better and author of The Kid

"I have always admired Ellen Forney's humor and honesty, but Marbles is a major leap forward. It's a hilarious memoir about mental illness, yes, but it's also an incisive study of what it means to be human and how we ache to become better humans. Amazing stuff."
—Sherman Alexie, bestselling author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

“Witty and insightful…The long journey of medication and therapy is kept from gloom by Forney’s lively, likable cartooning … Readers struggling with their own mania or depression will find Forney good company, and others searching for insight into the minds of troubled artists will find Forney an engaging storyteller.”
—Starred Publishers Weekly

“Not only does her conversational intimacy draw readers in, but her drawings perfectly capture the exhilarating frenzy of mania and the dark void of depression….Forney’s story should resonate with those grappling with similar issues, while her artistry should appeal to a wide readership.”
—Starred Kirkus Reviews

"Marbles isn't just a great story; it's proof that artists don't have to be tortured to be brilliant."
Entertainment Weekly, Grade "A" Review

“Is it weird to call a memoir about bipolar disorder entertaining? Well, this one is, thanks to the ease with which Forney translates her vivacious, fearless personality to the page…. Forney has a virtuosic understanding of what words and images can do in congress, playing them off one another in ways that allow her pages to be more than the sum of their parts.”
—Myla Goldberg,

Marbles is more than a survivor’s story…It is a book about Forney’s struggle to come to terms with herself, which is similar to the struggle everyone must undergo.”
—Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder shortly before her thirtieth birthday. A lifelong cartoonist, she collaborated with Sherman Alexie on National Book Award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and created Eisner Award-nominated comic books I Love Led Zeppelin and Monkey Food: The Complete "I Was Seven in '75" Collection. She teaches comics courses at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Avery; Illustrated edition (Nov. 6 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1592407323
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1592407323
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 522 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 1.91 x 22.78 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 497 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
497 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars An instant favourite
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 11, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars An instant favourite
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 11, 2017
I read it within 2 hours- I could not put it down. its an incredible insight into one woman's journey to an understanding and acceptance of herself and I could really relate despite not being clinically tested myself (yet-im getting round to it now, this has given me a bit of a push to seek the help I need). So for anyone suffering from a mental illness, I suggest heavily that you read this, it's graphic comic format makes it an incredibly easy to read- even if you are the kind of person who struggles to focus- you might find this kind of memoir easier to enjoy.
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Miguel Marcos
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story about finding the right path after bipolar diagnosis
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 9, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars So there is hope if you are bipolar
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2021
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Y. Hsu
5.0 out of 5 stars great overview of depression in
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2014
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Adam J.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is fantastic. If you're struggling with bipolar
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 4, 2015
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