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I'm telling the truth but I'm lying : essays

by Ikpi, Bassey,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 7 Libraries 7 of 14 copies
Available (7)
Location Collection Call #
Baldwin Borough Library Biography and Memoir BIOGRAPHY IKP
Location  Baldwin Borough Library
Collection  Biography and Memoir
Braddock Carnegie Library Non Fiction 616.89 IKP
Location  Braddock Carnegie Library
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  616.89 IKP
CLP - Allegheny Regional Non-Fiction Collection CT275.I438 A25 2019x
Location  CLP - Allegheny Regional
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  CT275.I438 A25 2019x
CLP - Hill District Non-Fiction Collection CT275.I438 A25 2019x
Location  CLP - Hill District
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  CT275.I438 A25 2019x
Monroeville Public Library New Books 814.6 IKPI
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  New Books
Call Number  814.6 IKPI
Shaler North Hills Library Non-Fiction NEW 973.04 I
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  NEW 973.04 I
Whitehall Public Library Nonfiction Collection NF 814.6 Ik7
Location  Whitehall Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction Collection
Call Number  NF 814.6 Ik7
Unavailable (7)
Location Collection Status
CLP - Brookline New Books CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - Brookline
Collection  New Books
CLP - East Liberty New Books CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - East Liberty
Collection  New Books
CLP - Homewood Non-Fiction Collection IN TRANSIT
Location  CLP - Homewood
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
CLP - Main Library First Floor - New Non-fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - New Non-fiction
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection MISSING
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Cooper-Siegel Community Library Featured Non-Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library
Collection  Featured Non-Fiction
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction


In I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying Bassey Ikpi explores her life--as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist--through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our preconceptions of the mind and normalcy as Bassey bares her own truths and lies for us all to behold with radical honesty and brutal intimacy.

A The Root Favorite Books of the Year * A Good Housekeeping Best 60 Books of the Year * A YNaija 10 Notable Books of the Year * A GOOP 10 New Favorite Books * A Cup of Jo 5 Big Books of Fall * A Bitch Magazine Most Anticipated Books of 2019 * A Bustle 21 New Memoirs That Will Inspire, Motivate, and Captivate You * A Publishers Weekly Spring Preview Selection * An Electric Lit 48 Books by Women and Nonbinary Authors of Color to Read in 2019 * A Bookish Best Nonfiction of Summer Selection

"We will not think or talk about mental health or normalcy the same after reading this momentous art object moonlighting as a colossal collection of essays." --Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

From her early childhood in Nigeria through her adolescence in Oklahoma, Bassey Ikpi lived with a tumult of emotions, cycling between extreme euphoria and deep depression--sometimes within the course of a single day. By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO's Def Poetry Jam, channeling her life into art. But beneath the façade of the confident performer, Bassey's mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization and a diagnosis of Bipolar II.

In I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying, Bassey Ikpi breaks open our understanding of mental health by giving us intimate access to her own. Exploring shame, confusion, medication, and family in the process, Bassey looks at how mental health impacts every aspect of our lives--how we appear to others, and more importantly to ourselves--and challenges our preconception about what it means to be "normal." Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are--and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.

This first essay is to prove to you that I had a childhood
When they come for me
The hands that held me
Young girls they do get weary
Becoming a liar
The quiet before
Take two for pain
Like a war
This is what happens
What it feels like
Beauty in the breakdown
It has a name
Side effects may include
Life sentence
As hopeless as smoke
The day before
We don't wear blues
Some days are fine
When we bleed
Searching for magic.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In 22 essays, American-Nigerian speaker, writer, and mental-health advocate Ikpi tells gripping tales of everything from a childhood fear of leprosy to her experiences with the drug ecstasy ( its very name revealed its power ) to later struggles with insomnia, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. The hitch: she admits to being a liar, so it's impossible to know what's true and what's not. Her biggest fib, she says, is telling people she's OK. She asks herself questions, such as, What's wrong with me? She wants to feel like someone whose brain worked and to be normal. Medications come with side effects and she wants ones that don't make her gain or lose weight, and that don't make her drowsy or nervous. Her tortured thoughts and actions (she straddles a guy she barely knows in a cab) are heartbreaking. Highly anticipated, this collection is raw, courageous, and unsettling. People struggling with mental-health issues will appreciate Ikpi as a talented kindred spirit as she raises such universal questions as: What does it mean to be crazy anyway? Haunting and affirming.--Karen Springen Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Fraught memories are interrogated and reconstructed in these essays from Ikpi, a poet, performer, and mental health advocate who here grapples with having "lived with depression my whole life," as well as her struggles with anxiety and bipolar II. Born in Nigeria, she describes coming to America as a small child-rejoining her parents who'd emigrated earlier-carrying memories of her maternal grandmother and entering a tense household divided between a "father [who] loved his parents" and a "mother [who] did not love hers." Affecting memories of growing up-watching the unfolding Challenger disaster on TV as an eight-year-old in Stillwater, Okla., taking her first trip back to Nigeria as a 12-year-old-flavor a memoir otherwise focused on a nearly clinical account of mental health struggles. Ikpi describes in painstaking detail episodes such as an attack of anxiety before taking a flight, or depression that results in a week of hospitalization. Along the way, she learns of her grandmother's dementia and is herself diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome before finding the right doctor and an effective treatment. Ikpi's account is a gift for fellow sufferers; it may also serve instructively for those who care about them, by candidly conveying how one woman faced and overcame her demons. Agent: Eric Smith, P.S. Literary. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Ikpi, Bassey.
Nigerian Americans -- Biography.
Manic-depressive persons -- United States -- Biography.
Manic-depressive illness -- Biography.
Publisher New York :2019
Edition First edition.
Other Titles Essays.
I am telling the truth but I am lying
Language English
Description x, 257 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 9780062698346
Other Classic View