This inventive first novel explores the widespread problem of female depression. A 27-year-old drama teacher named Joy Stone has come undone. The problems of everyday living accumulate and begin to torture Joy, who blames her problems not on her work or on the accidental drowning death of her illicit lover, but on herself.
Clutching at the wrong things, she eventually learns that the trick is to find those that let life go on. While painful and deeply serious, this is a novel of great warmth and energy. The wit and irony found in moments of despair prove to be Joy’s salvation and add a completely original note to women’s writing.
The novel was first published in Scotland in 1989, where it won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Scottish First Book of the Year. It was published in hardcover in the U.S. in 1994 by Dalkey and received widespread critical acclaim.
“Galloway provides sentences blazing with light, a gorgeous draft of terror” – The Observer
“Meticulously observed, agonizing and funny, this unconventional account of clinical depression marks the novelistic debut of the author of the praised short-story collection Blood (…) Galloway delivers a thoughtful, witty chronicle of depression and potential renewal.” – Publishers Weekly