Donald Antrim

Cindy Seip

Donald Antrim is the author of Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World: A Novel, The Verificationist: A Novel, and The Afterlife: A Memoir, and has received awards from the MacArthur Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In One Friday in April: A Story of Suicide and Survival (W. W. Norton & Company), he recounts the day in 2006 when found himself on the roof of his Brooklyn apartment building, afraid for his life, candidly sharing what led him there and what happened when he came back down: two hospitalizations, weeks of fruitless clinical trials, the terror of submitting to ECT – and the saving call from David Foster Wallace that convinced him to try it – as well as years of fitful recovery and setback. Here, Antrim reframes suicide, whether in thought or action, as an illness in its own right and a unique consequence of trauma and personal isolation, rather than the choice of a depressed person. Kirkus praised it as “unflinchingly honest … the narrative is defiantly nonlinear … unlike a flat line, Antrim’s talent for storytelling is more similar to Russian nesting dolls: moments within moments that build upon each other as recollections and revelations.”