Meet the Convention Authors

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Meet and Greet with Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd's life as a country music superstar has been nonstop success. But offstage, she has battled incredible personal adversity; family secrets, the death of a sibling, rape and no emotional support. Naomi has always been a survivor; she put herself through nursing school to support her young daughters, then took a courageous chance by moving to Nashville to pursue their fantastic dream of careers in country music and rose to stardom.

But Naomi was still to face her most desperate fight yet. After finishing a tour with Wynonna in 2011, she began a three-year battle with Severe Treatment Resistant Depression and anxiety. She suffered through frustrating and dangerous roller-coaster effects with antidepressants and other drugs, often terrifying therapies and, at her absolute lowest points, thoughts of suicide. But Naomi persevered once again. RIVER OF TIME is her poignant message of hope to anyone whose life has been scarred by trauma.

With a purchase of River of Time at the NAMI Store you can meet Naomi on Thursday, June 29 in the Gunston West room (the Washington Hilton Hotel) at 5:00 p.m.

Book Signings 

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Andrea Petersen

Andrea Petersen, a highly regarded writer for the Wall Street Journal is also one of the estimated 40 million American adults that suffers from some type of anxiety disorder. In ON EDGE: A Journey Through Anxiety, Peterson harnesses her personal experience and expertise as a health reporter to explore the biological mechanisms of anxiety and the groundbreaking research that might point the way to new treatments.

As a college sophomore, Andrea experienced her first panic attack. After that, nothing was the same, breathlessness, a racing heart, and uncontrollable fear seemingly came out of nowhere. Fear, she said ambushed her. Forced to withdraw from school, she spent half her time on the sofa, the other half getting EKGs, blood tests, CAT scans and a variety of other tests. It took over a dozen doctors and almost a year before she was finally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and treated. Although having a name for her symptoms and fears was an enormous relief, identifying the problem was only the beginning of Petersen’s journey toward understanding it.

Come meet Andrea and have your book signed by her on Wednesday, June 28 in the Gunston West room (the Washington Hilton Hotel) at 1:00 p.m.

 

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David Leite

David Leite grew up in the 1960s in a devoutly Catholic, blue-collar, food-crazed Portuguese home in Fall River, Massachusetts. A clever and determined dreamer with a vivid imagination and a flair for the dramatic, “Banana” as his mother endearingly called him, yearned to live in a middle-class house with a swinging kitchen door just like the ones on television. But David also struggled with the emotional devastation of manic depression. Until he was diagnosed in his mid-thirties, David found relief from his wild mood swings in learning about food, watching Julia Child, and cooking for others.

Notes on a Banana is his heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, yet tender memoir of growing up, accepting himself, and turning his love of food into an award-winning career. Reminiscing about the people and events that shaped him, David looks back at the highs and lows of his life: from his rejection of being gay and his attempt to “turn straight” through Aesthetic Realism, a cult in downtown Manhattan, to becoming a writer, cookbook author, and web publisher, to his twenty-four-year relationship with Alan, known to millions of David’s readers as “The One,” which began with (what else?) food. Throughout the journey, David returns to his stoves and tables, and those of his family, as a way of grounding himself.

Come meet David and have your book signed by him on Friday, June 29 in the Gunston West room (the Washington Hilton Hotel) at 12:00 p.m.

 

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Kay Redfield Jamison

Kay Redfield Jamison, author of the national best sellers AN UNQUIET MIND and TOUCHED with FIRE, pens a magisterial study of the relationship between illness and art that brings an entirely fresh understanding to the work and life of Robert Lowell (1917-1977), whose intense, complex and personal verse left a lasting mark on the English language and changed the public discourse about private matters. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry, Robert Lowell put his manic-depressive illness (now known as bipolar disorder) into the public domain, creating a language for madness that was new and arresting.

As Dr. Jamison brings her expertise in mood disorders to bear on Lowell's story, she illuminates not only the relationships among mania, depression, and creativity but also the details of Lowell's treatment and how illness and treatment influenced the great work that he produced. Lowell's New England roots, early breakdowns, marriages to three eminent writers, friendships with other poets such as Elizabeth Bishop, his many hospitalizations, his vivid presence as both a teacher and a maker of poems--Jamison gives us the poet's life through a lens that focuses our understanding of his intense discipline, courage, and commitment to his art. She also delivers a bold, sympathetic account of a poet who was--both despite and because of mental illness--a passionate, original observer of the human condition.

Come meet Kay and have your book signed by her on Wednesday, June 28 in the Gunston West room (the Washington Hilton Hotel) at 12:00 p.m. 

 

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Ron Powers

NEW YORK TIMES-bestselling author Ron Powers offers a searching, richly researched narrative of the social history of mental illness in America paired with the deeply personal story of his two sons' battles with schizophrenia.

From the centuries of torture of "lunatiks" at Bedlam Asylum to the infamous eugenics era to the follies of the anti-psychiatry movement to the current landscape in which too many families struggle alone to manage afflicted love ones, Powers highlights our fears and myths about mental illness and the fractured public policies that have resulted. 

Braided with that history is the moving story of Powers' beloved son Kevin--spirited, endearing, and gifted--who triumphed even while suffering from schizophrenia until finally he did not, and the story of his courageous surviving son Dean, who is also schizophrenic. A blend of history, biography, memoir, and current affairs ending with a consideration of where we might go from here, this is a thought-provoking look at a dreaded illness that has long been misunderstood.

Come meet Ron and have your book signed by him on Friday, June 30 in the Gunston West room (the Washington Hilton Hotel) at 1:00 p.m.