Welcome to the official website for Marya Hornbacher, award-winning journalist and bestselling author. Marya is the recipient of a host of awards for her books, journalism, essays, and poetry. Shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for her first book, Marya has spent a prolific twenty-odd years writing and teaching across genres. She was recently honored with the Annie Dillard Award in Creative Nonfiction. Marya published her first book, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia in 1998, when she was twenty-three. What started as a crazy idea suggested by a writer friend became the classic book that has been published in sixteen languages, is taught in universities all over the world, and has, according to the thousands of letters Marya has received over the years, changed lives. Her second book, the acclaimed novel The Center of Winter, has been called "masterful," "gorgeous writing," "a stunning achievement of storytelling," and "compulsive reading." The novel tells the story of a family recovering from a father's suicide in the spare, wintry Minnesota north, and in exploring this seemingly dark landscape, discovers light, redemption, and hope. This book, too, is taught in some of the best writing and literature programs in the United States and Europe. Marya's third book, Madness: A Bipolar Life, was published to immediate and enormous praise, hitting the New York Times Bestseller List and earning the remark in that publication, “Hornbacher is a virtuoso writer.” Madness is “an intense, beautifully written” book about the difficulties, and promise, of living with mental illness. It has been called "the most visceral, important book on mental illness to be published in years." Her fourth and fifth books, both published by Hazelden Publishers, took Marya in a new and exciting direction that allowed her to put her experience with recovery to use in the recovery community. Sane: Mental Illness, Addiction, and the Twelve Steps is a practical, funny, user-friendly guide to working the Twelve Steps for people who deal with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and addiction. Waiting: A Nonbeliever’s Higher Power is a powerful, almost radical exploration of what spirituality can mean to the recovering person who does not believe in God. Marya’s sixth book, We’ve Been Healing All Along: Real Lives and Real Strategies for Mental Health Recovery, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in early 2019. This book, the result of a five-year cross-country journey to investigate the state of mental health in America, weaves together Marya’s research—including more than 1500 interviews—on psychiatry, neuroscience, and the mental health recovery movement. We’ve Been Healing All Along tells the personal stories of dozens of people with mental health disorders who are defining, and achieving, personal success on their own terms. Marya is hard at work on her seventh book, a collection of essays on the subject of solitude in women’s lives. To read more of her recent work, check out the Current Projects page.
(Photos by Mark Trockman)