The Night Parade: A Speculative Memoir

Mariner. Oct. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780063213234. $30. MEMOIR
In this highly innovative memoir, Lin shares her experiences as a person with bipolar disorder as she comes of age, marries, experiences a miscarriage, loses her father to cancer, and becomes a mother. Originally misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder, Lin suffered for years, enduring a suicide attempt and multiple hospitalizations before receiving a correct diagnosis. Using Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese folklore to enrich her story, the author (who is a Japanese Taiwanese Okinawan American) delves into her own powerful feelings of rage, despair, loss, and hurt, ultimately emerging from each experience stronger and with more insight into not only herself but also her complex family history. With compelling prose, this title weaves folktales about frightening and monstrous figures into the narratives of Lin’s own developing bipolar disorder, her lineage, and her father’s illness. Her gorgeous writing draws readers into her gripping story, which is organized into a four-part narrative structure drawn from Japanese literary tradition. The book is richly illustrated by the author’s sister, Cori Nakamura Lin.
VERDICT An engrossing memoir by an extraordinary debut author.
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