Congratulations to Steve…

…who won the bidding for an autographed copy of a pre-release galley of January First. A second and final copy is now available at auction for the next three days. Bids start at $150 and the buy it now price is $250.

Ebay link:


All proceeds (minus shipping costs) go to aid Lisa Janus Wharton and her sz son, Anthony, who are facing eviction (yes, again-that is what happens when you can’t work when your child has a serious mental illness).

This is an early copy of the upcoming review to be published in Kirkus Reviews June 1st issue.

“A father descends into the emotional depths of his daughter’s schizophrenia.

In his debut memoir, Schofield (English/California State Univ., Northridge) provides a brutally honest account of his young daughter, January, whose violent outbreaks crippled their family. January’s behavior worsened upon the arrival of a baby brother. Fearing for the new child’s safety, Schofield and his wife plunged headlong into their newly confused labyrinthine world populated by psychiatric wards, medication and only occasionally competent doctors. January’s shocking behavior took a severe emotional toll on the family, particularly her father, who found himself admitting his dark thoughts. While January was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia, the long period of uncertainty left Schofield shaken. After his daughter’s EEG came back normal, the author admits that he was “so desperate for answers that I would actually have been relieved if I’d been told she had a tumor.” This stark honesty characterizes the book, whose author openly admits his complex relationship with his daughter. January’s mental illness soon consumed every aspect of Schofield’s life, spurring marital strife, false charges of sexual abuse and a work-related outburst. It even pushed the author toward a suicide attempt. In a final effort to diffuse the extreme resentment January felt toward her baby brother, the Schofields attempted a wildly unorthodox living situation, which demanded breaking the family apart in an effort to keep it together.

An unflinching portrait of the scourge of mental illness.”

One comment on “Congratulations to Steve…

  1. Thank you.

    I was just reading your “No Deal” blog and you can count that as the second time in my life I have spontaneously cried while reading a blog post. You can also take credit for the first time.

    I wish you wouldn’t say you’re not eloquent, because you are. Having lived it daily, I already knew a lot about mental illness before I learned of Jani’s story 3 or 4 years ago… what I’ve gained from you instead, from the power, simplicity, and genuine bravado of your writing, is an unexpectedly deep understanding of the primal agony someone who truly loves a frequently psychotic person has to go through. I’ve learned that people like you, who are willing to shoulder this burden and just love the person anyway, exist. As bright as I am, before meeting you I did not believe there was any such thing as a “normal” person who could care about or even understand the hell I was living. I was skeptical about you, and wanted to challenge your viewpoints in some way, partially, I suppose, to confirm my previous idea that people such as yourself were essentially synonymous with, you know, unicorns and 24 Hours and such. 🙂 Your devotion just seemed too big, your patience too vast, your love too great to be real.

    To this day, I’ve never experienced what you have to offer personally. I have a deep longing and sadness that I feel every day, and then I remember Jani and it makes me feel good that she has what I needed then and now. My entire life has been about trying to understand why no one loves me and why I should love myself if others don’t. After all, I’m broken. My million dollar deal was foregone before birth. At this point, it’s an achievement if I’m able to take a shower and sit through one day of shift work without succumbing to paranoid fantasies. Meanwhile I watch my high school classmates growing families and wealth, appearing ridiculously happy on Facebook, while I sigh and look on, dark and intense thoughts running through my head… I, too, can never go back. I can never erase the terrible moment of realization when my ex-husband saw the “raw” me, and was disgusted and/or terrified enough to book it for the hills. I can never get back the 2 years I spent drooling on my couch on lithium, watching TV. I can never go back to the day before my beautiful, blonde, innocent 14 year old self, fed up with living, crumbled and swallowed down two huge bottles of Ibuprofen. I can’t go back to my parents when I was 10 and paralyzed with anxiety over a bent corner on a homework sheet and scream in their faces, “Get me some help before it’s too late!”

    There are no coffee breaks for Sisyphus, as one of my favorite philosophy professors used to say. But you, Michael, you are the guy who, instead of pointing at Sisyphus and laughing or looking the other way while he pushes his rock up the hill over and over again, gets up off your ass and brings him his coffee while he works. There are not enough people in this world who are willing to do that and there probably won’t be in either of our lifetimes. What you are doing is changing the world, though. Slowly. I am so proud of you and the cause you represent. There really isn’t anything more important in the universe.

    Note from Michael: Zell, I need to check in with you.