On Friday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m., the Gallery Bookshop will host author and award-winning performance artist Sherry Glaser’s book launch of "The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People: Making the Most of Mental Illness," which was co-written with her late mother, Shelly Glaser.
Sherry will be on hand to read and sign the book and discuss related topics, including her mother’s determination to transcend her severe mental illness diagnosis; the impact of parental mental illness on children who may fear inheriting "craziness;" and what it’s like to co-write a book with a parent who is deceased.
Mother's Milk Publications released the book in paperback on Sept. 6. The handbook came out in e-book format in August, and garnered stellar reader reviews. Radio journalist Christina Aanestad called it “a unique testament to the human spirit and a touching memoir to Sherry's late mother, who lived a full life with a mental illness, gaining a law degree, managing a company, and raising a family—all while going crazy.”
“Years after my mother died, I came across this manuscript she’d written entitled ‘The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People,’” said Sherry Glaser in a phone interview with journalist Marlan Warren. “I was struck by how honest she was in sharing her own journey and her down-to-earth tips for others who may also be struggling.”
In 2015, Sherry decided to pick up where her mother left off—polishing Shelly Glaser’s manuscript, while adding her own harrowing ‘herstory.’ In the book’s section, “Sherry: The Sequel,” Sherry recounts her rollercoaster life which has run the gamut from celebrated performance artist (her award-winning Off-Broadway show “Family Secrets” still holds the title of “The Longest Running One-Woman Show in Off-Broadway History”) to the mysterious disappearance of her husband to pot advocacy (and SWAT arrest) to lesbian marriage and divorce. Like her mother, Sherry shares the tools she uses to keep straitjackets at bay.
“We’re breaking new ground here,” said Sherry Glaser. “This is the first mother-daughter mental health recovery handbook.”
Clinical psychologist Lauren J. Oliver commented in an online review: “It is inspiring to experience a clear-voiced woman who is committed to self-healing and being well, and who uses many practical and valuable tools to do so.”
The book also features Shelly Glaser’s “Companion Questionnaire,” which serves as an interactive workbook to help readers “avoid making uninformed choices.”
Sherry Glaser created “The First Practical Blog for Crazy People” and on Aug. 22, posted:
“We don't know what's next, but if we know where we're coming from, and that there are practical tools ready and available, we can learn to crawl and walk and run and eventually...fly.”
Give yourself some credit. It takes bravery to confront your pain and suffering. It takes making a conscious choice to move forward. Willingness is essential to healing your life. It's not an easy decision, but you'll find the rewards magnificent. Now that I've integrated all the parts of me, you could say that this book was written on every level of my being: my mind, body, and soul.