Australian playwright Burton charts the ups and downs of his anxious adolescence and early 20s in this hilariously candid debut memoir.
Diagnosed with clinical depression on and off since he was a young child, Burton enters high school determined to make friends, fit in, and get noticed by girls. The young white man finds his niche in drama class, where his talent for acting manifests itself as his alter ego, Crazy Drama Dave, the hyperactive and perennially involved young man that his new friends come to know. At home, he is withdrawn and exhausted with the effort of keeping up this facade while struggling to understand his emerging sexuality and identity. By the time he enters university to study theater, he decides to put a swift end to his confusion about his sexual orientation and adopts a new persona: Gay Dave. Eventually, his avoidance of his mental health issues catches up with him in heartbreaking ways, and he is forced to come to terms with his own unhappiness. Burton’s descriptions of his anxiety and depression are tangibly poignant, giving authentic voice to those struggling with similar issues. His tone morphs fluidly from compulsively funny to devastating from one moment to the next, and his uproarious wit shines throughout.
A heartfelt, accessible book that strives to break down the stigmas surrounding mental illness with remarkable humor and honesty. (Memoir. 15-adult)