|About the Book|
An epistle to equality, tolerance and the true beauty of madness. Dolly Sens powerful personal pilgrimage to love, life and humanity again is a very intimate tale about the power of dreaming, taking control and fighting for the right to be oneselfMoreAn epistle to equality, tolerance and the true beauty of madness. Dolly Sens powerful personal pilgrimage to love, life and humanity again is a very intimate tale about the power of dreaming, taking control and fighting for the right to be oneself and to be equal and to be accepted - David Morris, Senior Policy Adviser to the Mayor (Disability), Greater London Authority DescriptionDolly Sens second book, Am I Still Laughing?, is the follow up to her acclaimed memoir, The World is Full of Laughter. Her first book started out as a possible suicide note and ended up as a celebration of life. The brutally honest account of living with madness has been an inspiration to readers around the world, and has positively changed many peoples lives. In Am I Still Laughing Dolly describes her childhood with a father who was a small-time singer and actor, through him she worked as an extra on various films including the Star Wars epic, The Empire Strikes Back, until Steven Spielberg sacked her because he thought her child-breasts were too big for the part of an underfed child slave. Confused by sci-fi reality and day-to-day fiction Dolly traces her madness all the way back to when I worked on The Empire Strikes Back. It wasnt a film, it was reality, and it was up to me to maintain the good and evil in the universe.About the AuthorAuthor, poet and activist Dolly Sen lives in Streatham, South London. Born in 1970, she had her first psychotic experience aged 14 which lead her to leave school. After years of mental illness, probably bought on by an abusive childhood, Dolly decided she should write about her experiences. She was inspired to write her own story after readingJason Peglers autobiography A Can of Madness. She has since written five books, become a successful performance poet who has toured throughout Europe and has set up two charities. Dolly is a key figure in the mental health movement and regularly appears on television and radio talking about mental health issues.Book ExtractWriting has always helped me. I found it when I was 22 and it has kept me alive since then. During my worst depressions, writing gave me a reason to wake up in the morning. Would I still have carried on writing if I never was published? Of course I would. One of my favourite writers, Charles Bukowski, said of writing: It is the last expectation, the last explanation, thats what writing is. A plain piece of paper wont judge you, criticize you. And above all it wont lie to you. If you cant say what needs to be said face to face, write it down.People with mental health problems who are able should think about either writing their story or at least telling it. Their lives shouldnt be what they think are dirty secrets they have to hide. One woman at one of my book signings shook her head sadly and said, I cant, its too painful. And besides, nobody wants to hear it. Thats what I thought once. I now know that to be untrue. People, men and women, young and old, rich and poor, have taken me aside after reading my book and say, sometimes with tears in their eyes, This happened to me too. but please dont tell anyone that it did. This is painfully heart-rending. Because I think if you dont share it positively, itll manifest somewhere else, in your body, in your relationship to others and the world. For example, it can be seen in some peopleseyes- they try to smile, but their eyes dont believe it. Their eyes are telling their story - something about their life always will. So you might as well have some control over it.