Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness

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Product Details

Henry Holt & Company
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.3 X 0.7 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Catherine Cho is a literary agent in the UK. Originally from the United States, she's lived in New York and Hong Kong, and she currently lives in London with her family. Inferno is her first book.


"Inferno is a brilliantly frightening memoir about Cho's two weeks on the psychiatric ward, elegantly interwoven with tales from her past. . . .[Cho writes] herself into motherhood and into a form of sanity that does not leave behind the insights enabled by psychosis. "
-The Guardian

"Fascinating.... beautifully written.... This is a highly accomplished memoir. Cho deftly weaves the strands of her experience to create something striking and original."
-The Times

This piercing narrative about motherhood and a fraying human mind will slowly and creepily pull the reader in and leave a chill.
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Completely devastating. Completely heartbreaking. Written in luminous, spiralling prose."
-Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under

"A fierce, brave, glittering book that charts with unflinching honesty the shift from one reality to another and the family ghosts that - without always knowing it - we all carry. I was drawn into Catherine's story but I was also drawn into her mother's, her grandmother's, and those too with whom she shared that time in a psychiatric unit. But most of all it offers hope. Even from that place of darkness and confusion."
-Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

"Inferno does just as the title suggests, it throws you into the flames of the author's psychosis so that you are in there with her, fighting for your next breath. I've rarely read such a powerful account of madness. Gripping, chilling and ultimately hopeful, this is one not to miss."
-Lisa Jewell, author of The Family Upstairs and Then She Was Gone

"I was hooked from the very start, by the "dear reader" letter setting the scene for all that followed. It is at heart a love story, but one in which unimaginable, wonderfully depicted, mental torture intrudes. In sharing this pain, and exploring its cultural and other causes, Catherine Cho does a great service to the cause of breaking down stigma surrounding mental ill health. Above all though she has written a beautiful book."
-Alastair Campbell

"Utterly compelling and beautifully written, Inferno is one of the bravest and most beautiful books I have ever read. I devoured it in one sitting and loved every page."
-Alice Feeney, author of Sometimes I Lie

"This book is utterly brilliant: poetic, truthful, frightening, clever. I held my breath at both the power of the prose and the writer's unflinching honesty. Catherine Cho is most certainly a writer to watch."
-Christie Watson, author of The Language of Kindness

"A powerful and poignant book. The difficult and haunting brutality of both psychosis and relationships was so beautifully and honestly portrayed."
-Bev Thomas, author of A Good Enough Mother