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About the Book

In my session with Imogen, the words were still not coming. I had to move past my own frustration and relax. But it is very hard to relax when you are looking into the eyes of a mute little girl who wants to be dead. You don't want to relax; you want to pull her into your arms, hold her and then shake her until she tells you why. You long to say, "Why do you want to die? You're twelve years old."

Gripping, unforgettable and deeply affecting, The Skeleton Cupboard recounts the patient stories that most influenced Dr. Tanya Byron, covering years of training that forced her to confront the harsh realities of the lives of her patients and the demons of her own family history. Among others, we meet Ray, a violent sociopath desperate to be treated with tenderness and compassion; Mollie, a talented teenager intent on starving herself; and Imogen, a twelve-year-old so haunted by a secret that she's intent on killing herself.

Byron brings the reader along as she uncovers the reasons each of these individuals behave as they do, resulting in a thrilling, compulsively readable medical mystery that sheds light on mental illness and what its treatment tells us about ourselves.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Moving and thought-provoking” —Sunday Times (London)

“Absorbing. . . . A lucid and compassionate memoir” —Kirkus Reviews

“Read[s] like compelling, crafted fiction. . . . Powerful, vivid and moving.” —Sydney Morning Herald

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443433938
  • ISBN 10: 1443433934
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 04/07/2015
  • Pages: 320
  • List Price: 32.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  • BISAC2: PSYCHOLOGY / General

The Skeleton Cupboard by Tanya Byron

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