I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying: Essays

I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying: Essays Book Details

A 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 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.

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.

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Title:I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying: Essays
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780062894786
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    I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying: Essays Reviews

  • Akwaeke Emezi

    Look, I've been reading Bassey Ikpi's work for a smooth ten years, thanks to the Internet. She's been a vital voice for so many of us who live with neurodivergence, throughout our darkest moments, whi...

  • Thomas

    A powerful story about Nigerian American author Bassey Ikpi’s experiences navigating her newfound Bipolar II diagnosis, as well as the anxiety she faced throughout her life. I most enjoyed this book...

  • BookOfCinz

    Updated December 9 I loved this book so much I decided to make it a BookOfCinz book club pick. This is a truly moving collection that deserves to be read. I was simply storing up my tears, I would n...

  • Hannah

    One of my most anticipated reads of the year, this sadly did not completely work for me. I found it very difficult to spend time in Ikpi's head - especially during the parts when her mental illness wa...

  • leynes

    I've been picking up some books based on Roxane Gay's recommendations recently and damn ... that woman's got taste! I’m Telling the Truth but I’m Lying is a deeply personal collection of essays ex...

  • Dolly

    I have never read a memoir quite like this. Such powerful prose, almost poetic in how it engaged not just my mind but also my soul. I could not put this down - it just held on to me and I ripped throu...

  • Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

    Many thanks to HarperCollins for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest reviewAfter giving this a good chance, I’ve finally decided to permanently DNF it. It just wasn’t holding my attention....

  • Nohemi

    Revolutionary. Thank you for telling your story. This book is a giant step towards normalizing mental illness within the Black community. ...

  • lisa

    I started reading this the day I got my ARC from the publishers, and I had a hard time putting it down to do basic things like eat and sleep and breathe. This was such an incredible memoir, with Basse...

  • Shannon Wright

    This is a searing, lyrical piece of work: Bassey Ikpi started her career as a poet, and it shows as she finds music in heartbreaking moments. There are lines that will make you laugh out loud (“I st...