'Pillow book of a Manic Depressive' follows the style of medieval Japanese writers, who would keep a record of courtly life through their daily impressions, which they would then keep under their pillows. Taking a modern approach, the 'Pillow book' follows the impressions of the author in the year following an extreme manic episode, which saw him leap four floors and only barely survive. While his body repaired he was forced to slow down, take-in all that was immediately around him, and come to a place of peace and gratitude.
Unknowingly using the technique of Mindfulness, he was able to reflect on all the many facets of his life, and life in general. Written in a very simple way, each impression invites the reader to slow down and examine his or her own thoughts. While as a whole, the collection is a story of survival and recovery - as the author's momentum towards good health becomes increasingly, if subtly, apparent.
From the stain left on a page by a bookmark, to the author's catastrophic manic leap, to an old radio - the breadth of recollection is vast. And time to time, sprinkled throughout the book, are lists - of things you can break, things you can't hide, things that you do but don't know if they work - which pause to make you think what you as a reader might add or subtract. And to capture some of the deepest emotions, poetry is used.
There is also humour, and lots of it. Life is many things, and to someone suffering a mental illness, the comfort of laughter is one of the richest. This is not slapstick, but the warm recognition of truth, and the joy of a new perspective on old troubles.
Ultimately 'Pillow book of a Manic Depressive' is a window into one person's recovery and mind. But it also attempts to open hope to all through its portrayal of the human spirit.