“But all the chartreuse buds on the new spring branches are also the brown crispy leaves that blow to the ground in the fall. It’s natural. It’s the way life works…”
–Chapter Sixteen, Mental
Mental (2018), which took 23 years to complete, is based on Johnston’s late teens and early twenties in the 1990s in Texas. Weaving journalistic scrutiny with magic realism, Mental draws upon a broad set of themes, all of which reveal why one young woman’s emergence from childhood to take responsibility for her life was belated.
Told by identical twin narrators in three parts,Mentaldelves deeply into the inner workings of the psyche to achieve a hard won happy ending, leaving the reader with the suggestion that it is one’s attitude that directs one’s fate. Drawing upon Buddhist wisdom and with a strong foundation in the natural world,Mental‘s subject matter may at times be…
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