Clara’s at a breaking point. She’s got writer’s block, her friends ask a lot without giving much, her psychologist is useless, and her demanding publishing job leaves little time for self care. She seeks solace in the community around her, yet, while her friends provide support and comfort, she is often left feeling empty, unable to express an underlying depression that leaves her immobilized and stifles any attempts at completing her poetry collection. In This Is How I Disappear, Mirion Malle paints an empathetic portrait of a young woman wrestling with psychological stress and the trauma following a sexual assault.
Malle displays frankness and a remarkable emotional intelligence as she explores depression, isolation, and self-harm in her expertly drawn novel. Her heroine battles an onslaught of painful emotions and while Clara can provide consolation to those around her, she finds it difficult to bestow the same understanding on herself. Only when she allows her community to guide her toward self-love does she find relief.
Filled with 21st century idioms and social media communication, This Is How I Disappear opens a window onto the lives of young people as they face a barrage of mental health hurdles. Scenes of sisterhood, fun nights out singing karaoke, and impromptu FaceTime therapy sessions show how this generation is coping, connecting, and healing together.
Translated by Aleshia Jensen and Bronwyn Haslam.