About this item

A Publishers Weekly Spring Preview SelectionA deeply personal collection of essays exploring Nigerian-American author Bassey Ikpi's experiences navigating Bipolar II and anxiety throughout the course of her life.Bassey Ikpi was born in Nigeria in 1976. Four years later, she and her mother joined her father in Stillwater, Oklahoma - a move that would be anxiety ridden for any child, but especially for Bassey. Her early years in America would come to be defined by tension: an assimilation further complicated by bipolar II and anxiety that would go undiagnosed for decades.By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO's Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam, channeling her experiences into art. But something wasn't right - beneath the faade 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.Determined to learn from her experiences - and share them with others - Bassey became a mental health advocate and has spent the fourteen years since her diagnosis examining the ways mental health is inextricably intertwined with every facet of ourselves and our lives. 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.

About the Author

Bassey Ikpi

Bassey Ikpi is a Nigerian-American writer and mental health advocate. She appeared on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam" and joined the touring company for their Tony Award-winning Broadway show. Appearing on stages across the globe as both a public speaker and TV personality, Bassey has also added contributor editor for Catapult to her growing credentials. An active voice in the mental health community and a pop culture connoisseur, her essays on both topics can be found on platforms including "The Root", "Ebony" and "The Africa Report". Bassey's essay, "Just To Get By", appears in the anthology for Temple University Press, WHO WILL SPEAK FOR AMERICA. Bassey is the founder of The Siwe Project, a mental health organization whose mission is to spread mental health awareness in the global Black community. She is also the creator of #NoShameDay, an initiative that normalizes conversations surrounding mental health in order to reduce stigma. Her debut essay collection, I'M TELLING THE TRUTH, BUT I'M LYING, is forthcoming from Harper-Perennial in August 2019. In short: Bassey Ikpi is a Nigerian-American writer, ex-poet, constant mental health advocate, underachieving overachiever and memoir procrastinator. She lives in Maryland.

Read Next Recommendation

Report incorrect product information.