February 4, 2014
TLC Book Tours
Neil Kapoor, 23, finds the fragile threads of a new life threatened by a mother's descent into schizophrenia.
The debut novel of acclaimed journalist Anish Majumdar examines the inner world of the mentally ill and those within their gravitational pull. A mother's delusions of Bollywood stardom become a son's raw materials for finding happiness beyond her shadow. Enlisting the aid of an Aunt with means and questionable motives, Neil finds love and forms crucial friendships. But when the life he's kept secret begins to crumble, a choice must be made: family or freedom? Intimate in approach and devastating in impact, The Isolation Door marks the arrival of a unique talent in American letters.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated towards schizophrenia research and treatment.
There is truth and then there is truth. Confusing, huh? What I mean – there are the facts of what happens to us and then there are the emotional aspects of what happens to us. Mr. Majumdar offers an amazing insight into the emotional truths of his life. He began writing The Isolation Door about a fictional world that allowed him to tell the truth about his experiences. In the process of writing this remarkable book, Mr. Majumdar found the keys he needed to start telling the truth about his past and building a new life.
In The Isolation Door, Neil Kapoor deals with the effects of his mother’s schizophrenia while trying to start college. Neil builds a new life for himself, a normal life. He finds the love and friendship he had denied himself for years. However, his family disintegrates and his old world collides with his new. What choices will he make when there is no path without heartbreaking costs?
I know mental illness and its wide-ranging effects from many viewpoints. One person’s mental illness causes ripples of reaction that draw all that know them into vortex. Everyone reacts differently—some run away, some try to save the person, some try to find a path in between those two extremes. Mr. Majumdar depicts the brutal reality of this process in this haunting story. I found myself completely drawn in from the first chapter, unable to put the book down.
I cried, too. That’s not something I do easily or often when reading. Granted, my emotional reactions may have come from my own personal experiences, but the fact that Mr. Majumdar recreated those emotional experiences so accurately is a testament to his skill. Neil’s brutal journey and the choices he faced have been dealt with many who have loved someone with a severe mental illness.
Schizophrenia remains the most stigmatized of mental illnesses. People react with fear and disgust to individuals with the disease and to their families. The result—the people and their loved ones who need the most support find themselves outcasts adrift in a heartless society. Mr. Majumdar forces the reader to deal with his reality, recognize the immense shame, fear, and guilt that become part of being drug into that world. We, the reader, join Neil in this world forcibly separated from what is “normal.”
It’s been a long time since a book moved me this deeply. I suspect I’m going to end up giving this book as a present to a number of people in life, because I want to share it with everyone. I hope that everyone who reads this blog takes a risk and gives this book a try.