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Your Voice in My Head

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  3,481 Ratings  ·  416 Reviews
Emma Forrest, an English journalist, was twenty-two and living in America when she realised that her quirks had gone beyond eccentricity. Lonely, in a dangerous cycle of self-harm and damaging relationships, she found herself in the chair of a slim, balding and effortlessly optimistic psychiatrist - a man whose wisdom and humanity would wrench her from the vibrant and dang ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 17th 2011 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 2011)
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I'm trying to find ways to describe this book but it's a difficult task because my mind is overwhelmed... in a good way. Emma Forrest is a charismatic and gifted writer, she's also a bipolar. At the age of 16 she was a columnist in The Sunday Times and by the age of 21 a contributor to the Guardian. And then to Vogue and Vanity Fair and The Independent. She interviewed rock bands, writers and Hollywood stars (even dated A-list actors and famous writers). She also published 3 books at that time,

Oh Lordy. This book should be retitled: Your Voice In My Head: a Humblebrag in 224 pages.

Allow me to paraphrase...
I am so messed up, it almost obscures how precocious and brilliant I am. I am full of self-loathing and body image issues in spite of being a beautiful, fashionable waif. I have terrible taste in men - the movie stars, über talented writers, and poetic souls i date are all gorgeous (and tall!) but totally wrong for me. My amazing, eccentric, perfect family are stuck with me and my m
May 23, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing. There's the famous writer who is more gifted than anyone of our generation (whatever that means), the movie star who was her soul mate until he wasn't and a handful of other more forgettable beaus. There are a few oddly placed pop culture references. Forrest comes across as an attention seeker, seemingly more driven to convince us all of her desirability to famous, gifted men than anything else. There were a few passages which were quite moving about her struggles but the emphasis ...more
Jun 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one case where I wish we could give ratings in half-star increments - three stars is too much, two too little.

I'm attracted to memoirs. I'm intrigued by mental illness, it's debilitation and it's manifestation: namely, addiction. In the case of this book, said addiction is self-injury and bulimia. It seems Emma's (to call her 'the author' is too academic; 'Ms. Forrest' too austere) initial intention is to chronicle her battle with these compulsions, along with a touching homage to her l
My boyfriend had a writing professor in college who said: "Don't write about your dead grandma because I don't want to give you a D on a story about your dead grandma."

I should maybe alter that to: "Don't read memoirs with mentally ill protagonists because I don't want to give someone a D on a story about suicide attempts, cutting and bulimia." Especially not someone who has already been pummeled with toxic internet sledge by Colin Ferrell fanatics who found her too fat, too ugly to be the actor
Emma Forrest has a way with conducting a story. Her talent shines as she weaves her memoir into a tale that reads like fiction, yet presents constant reflection--almost as a third party--to her experiences, doing so in a charming and funny, yet heartfelt and honest way. I laughed, I cried a bit, commiserated tons, and just faced the fucking facts: We all have our struggles and living is the hard part; but perseverance is always a path awaiting our pursuit, if we choose it. I think this also sums ...more
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this memoir. I received it from NetGalley and have been unable to put it down since I started it.
This is an honest book. If you’re looking for powdered-sugar lies, then this is not the right book to read. If, like a large number of us, you have suffered through major depression or manic depression, this is a must read.
Ms. Forrest writes beautifully, there’s no denying that, but it’s not the beauty of her phrases that captivate the mind, but the spine of truth that allows
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Dear Sweet Jesus. This book was a car wreck. I gave it two stars because I literally couldn't stop reading it, even though I wanted to. Emma Forrest is a journalist who writes about celebrity. She's also bipolar, and cuts herself. In this book, she writes about her suicide attempts, numerous boyfriends and the death of her therapist. She also gets into a serious relationship with Colin Farrell, who she calls her Gypsy Husband.

One of the messages that I learned from this book is that I should nev
Feb 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-authors
At the last few pages, the narrator referenced Jane Eyre, which my copy just came in and is my next book to read.

How timely.

Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest can be very uncomfortable to read, not because it is a memoir about mental illness, depression, mania, cutting, attempted suicide, and death, but because it is a humorous memoir about mental illness, depression, mania, cutting, attempted suicide, and death.

To start, I have a confession to make. I didn't know who Emma Forrest was before reading this book. She's published a few other books, written screenplays, blogs, worked as a journalist, and has been invol
Saloma Miller
Jun 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Of all the good memoirs out there that never make it into print, how in the world did this one make it? I skimmed it because I wanted in the worst way for Emma to face up to the truth... to find her Self. To do so, she would have had to face the underlying reason for her self-destructive behavior in the form of cutting, bulimia, promiscuity, suicide attempts. And that is not to mention losing her Self in every relationship and then being completely bereft when he leaves her. The one moment... ju ...more
Alex Templeton
As someone who spent five years with an absolutely wonderful therapist in New York, I was intrigued by the premise for this memoir: Emma Forrest would be writing about how her relationship with her therapist had an incredible impact on her, something she realized especially after his untimely and sudden death. Unfortunately, while I believe that Forrest intended to write her book as a tribute to what seems to have been an amazing individual, I don’t feel that she succeeded in that task. To me, t ...more
This memoir is a navel-gazing train wreck of obsession and self-pity from a middle-class product of a tight-knit family. Lacking sufficient external reasons to suffer, the author chooses to become her own worst enemy. Mired in narcissism and committed to self-destructive behavior, Forrest details her cutting rituals and suicide attempts and her dependence on her therapist before building a monument to pain out of a failed romance with bad boy actor Colin Farrell. Such confessional works only ser ...more
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A autobiografia de Emma foi um livro que me apareceu de surpresa e despertou toda a minha curiosidade.

O relato da autora, apesar de triste, é doce e divertido de se acompanhar, a leitura flui naturalmente e os capítulos são curtos - o que contribui para ler rapidamente. Durante as passagens é impossível não sentir o que Emma passou durante tantos anos e não se comover, mas de um jeito bom, daqueles que só queremos abraçar a pessoa e dizer que vai ficar tudo bem. É possível acompanhar como ela me
Clare Herbert
rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2012
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wbw
And here's entry numero dos in my Books Whose Narrator People Love to Complain About series. I read this alongside I Await the Devil's Coming, whose narrator Mary MacLane is mocked almost across the board by readers for her melodrama and expression of inner turmoil.

But here's what bothers me the most about the criticism of Emma Forrest's personality and writing: the general public loves a quirky male writer. I'm talking cult-like devotion. David Sedaris, Chuck Klosterman, David Foster Wallace, C
Michelle Curie
For a second I thought about giving this book a higher rating, because man, it's a memoir and I feel like I am judging someone else's life here and who am I to do so? I believe there are books that need to be written and Emma Forrest probably needed to write this book, but I did not need to read it.

Emma Forrest is an English journalist and screenwriter, who has been published by numerous magazines, she has interviewed many reputable people (and even dated some). Her biography reads like a fairyt
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
Apparently, I am not hip enough to have known that Emma Forrest is somewhat, perhaps vaguely, known as a music journalist and brief love interest of Colin Farrel. I just noticed her memoir, randomly, at a bookstore a while back and thought it sounded like it had a lot of potential to be touching.

This book is essentially a love letter to Emma's therapist, Dr. R, who passed away without revealing to his patients that he had been fighting lung cancer. For Forrest, and almost certainly his other pa
Your Voice in My Head is a memoir about Emma Forrest. Her depression, her recovery, her therapist, her bad relationships, and Colin Farrell. Colin Farrel is a huge part of this book, whether the author intended him to be or not. And she can say she didn't, but I think she did. She spends a lot of time psychoanalyzing why he ended the relationship so abruptly and the type of personality defects he may have that will ensure he does it again. From other parts of the book, I get the feeling that she ...more
Cait S
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I want to explain what I loved about this book and what I connected with in it, but I'm not sure that I can.

I can say that I've been struggling lately. Despite having friends to talk to and medication to take and a life I shouldn't really complain about... I still struggle. And I can say that in this book I found so much that struck me and resonated with me. I found words that probably weren't meant to be advice but that hit me that way anyway and made me feel better about the things I've been d
I love crazy chicks. That's my favorite genre. I especially love crazy chicks who own their crazy, who are like, "I am crazy - hear me roar!" Emma Forrest is one of those girls, and she can write like the dickens when she feels like it. Parts of this book made me sigh with such understanding and other parts made me think, "Holy god, you are batshit."

Basically, she's a depressed, bulimic cutter who dated Colin Farrell, and she manages to make that interesting about 50-percent of the time. That's
Hamideh Mohammadi
Note to self: Take care of your mental health.
Andrew Shaffer
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sparse but heartfelt memoir detailing the author's relationship with her psychiatrist, "Dr. R," who she credits with saving her life following a suicide attempt. Psychiatrists and therapists end up with treasure-troves of knowledge about their patients' lives, while patients only ever get the briefest glimpses into these men and women who are often credited with saving their lives. Novelist and screenwriter Emma Forrest started the book as a way to cope with Dr. R's early death; somewhere alon ...more
Emma Forrest was Colin Farrell's gf for a year. So though this memoir is ostensibly about her relationship with her therapist, there's quite a bit of CF in there too (though she gives him a pseudonym.) She could have called this "Cutting and Colin Farrell" and it would have been apt. And yet. I read it in one day, in two two-hour chunks. There were many moments of true, beautiful, glorious writing. And she did a good job of making falling so hard for CF understandable. So this book was really mo ...more
good book. wafty cover image put me off but this is a wrenching book about mental health and the brilliant people who look after it. what happens when you lose the person whose voice is keeping you alive. a shattering, yet hilarious and poignant little book about it all, and laden with many a hip industry in-joke to boot. highly recommended. BBC.
Andreea Daia
******Full Disclosure**** This was an ARC copy, that was received through the GoodReads Advance program. I am grateful for the chance to have read this novel, which I might not have purchased otherwise.


So far I find this book disturbing to some extent, particularly because I'm not sure if this is really the way the author thinks or just a literary style for describing her fight with severe depression (or whatever was the medical term). If that's what it was intended then it's very
Friend the Girl
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any woman who needs to know it will be alright
Emma Forrest is my Dr. R.

I first read an excerpt of this book on The Guardian's website in January and became obsessed. I couldn't wait until May for it to come out in the States, so I ordered a copy from Amazon in the UK and didn't bat an eyelash at the fact that shipping cost as much as the book (and for that matter, when was the last time I had paid for a new first edition hardcover book? I always wait for the paperback). I needed to read this.

You see, I have my own GH. He decided to run away
Kate O'Hanlon
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I was 15 I started reading every book about unhinged, self harming and/or eating disordered young women I could find. Once of them was Emma Forrest's second novel Thin Skin. I checked it out of the library a dozen times before buying a copy, which is still, well thumbed, on my bookshelf. All this is by way of saying that it's hard to evaluate Your Voice in My Head objectively.

A lot of the book will seem very familiar to anyone who's read Thin Skin, the main character Ruby was obviously bas
After having a somewhat crappy day yesterday, I read this book last night in one go. It's not that long, but by the time I was finished (and I really wanted to read it in one sitting) it was past 1am. Good thing I don't have to be anywhere this morning.

Anyway. Reading books in one sitting is always more intense than reading bits and pieces over several days with countless breaks inbetween, and it fits the story. I'm not sure if I'd really gone back to it, had I decided to put it down and turn ou
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this book from beginning to end. Before reading this I knew nothing about Emma Forrest. I didn't know that she wrote a column for The Sunday Times when she was only a teenager or that she had a high profile relationship with a famous actor that left her broken hearted. I knew nothing of these things and yet I was so immersed in reading about her life that I found myself googling things to see if I could figure out who "Gypsy Husband" was, or even "Loom" or "Christopher" or "Simon" (no ...more
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Men in her head 1 27 Nov 13, 2011 10:00PM  
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Emma Forrest is a British-American journalist, novelist and screenwriter. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
More about Emma Forrest...
“Time heals all wounds. And if it doesn't, you name them something other than wounds and agree to let them stay.” 115 likes
“When you live with voices in your head, you are drawn inextricably to voices outside your head. Very often the voices work to confirm your worst suspicions. Or think of things you could never have imagined! There are only so many hours of the day to hate yourself.” 57 likes
More quotes…