Can a person triumph over dissociative disorder? Alice did.
by Alice Carrière
(Spiegel and Grau, September 2023)
Authorlink® talks with Alice Carrière about her powerful literary debut, the story of a young woman’s coming-of-age in the bohemian ’90s, as her adolescence gives way to a struggle with dissociative disorder.
With gallows humor and brutal honesty, EVERYTHING/NOTHING/SOMEONE explores what it means for our body and mind to belong to us wholly, irrevocably, and on our own terms.
Alice Carrière is the daughter of a remote mother, the artist Jennifer Bartlett, and a charismatic actor father. She tells the story of her unconventional upbringing in Greenwich Village where her days are a mixture of privilege, neglect, loneliness, and danger—a child living in an adult’s world, with little-to-no boundaries or supervision.
When she enters adolescence, she begins to feel she isn’t real, that she doesn’t exist. She doesn’t know who she is or was. She can’t remember being a person. The diagnosis was a dissociative disorder, a malady that erased her identity. Overzealous doctors medicated her causing her to feel more alone in the world. At one point she was advised never to see her father again.
After a long dark journey through the illness, she decided she wanted to discover who she really is, without pills or chemicals. With the help of her boyfriend, himself a recovering addict, Alice is determined to find a way out of the inner turmoil.
In prose that is both precise and probing, Alice manages to untangle the stories told to her by her parents, the American psychiatric complex, and her own broken mind to craft a unique and mesmerizing narrative of emergence and, finally, cure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A graduate of Columbia University, Alice Carrière lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and Amagansett, New York. Everything/Nothing/Someone is her first book.