Stages of Blue by Kayla Jeswald
Stages of Blue is a nonfiction collection that deals with the harrowing effects of mental illness. Jeswald digs deep. Through poetry, short stories, and flash fiction, Jeswald opens a window so readers can witness the struggle of living with anxiety, bipolar disorder and severe depression. The collection is emotional and riveting.
Publication Date: February 29,2020
“My past will always haunt me sometimes,” writes Kayla Jeswald, “Even after all those years, those markings still cover my body to remind me of the struggle it went through.” Jeswald’s Stages of Blue is a courageous book that leads her readers through the author’s mental health journey from the lowest points of turmoil to “the road to redemption.” Jeswald’s fearless voice carries throughout the book as she bravely eviscerates her past to bring herself and her readers to where “hope and light” await.
--Molly Fuller, author of For Girls Forged by Lightning: Prose & Other Poems
"In Stages of Blue, Kayla Jeswald navigates the depths of grief, love, and sorrow. A remarkable debut."
--Christopher Barzak, author of Wonders of the Invisible World
Kayla Jeswald’s Stages of Blue is an honest, bold, and sincere book of creative nonfiction that speaks to and for those who have encountered anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, self-identity, and mental health concerns. Her selection of a mix of genres—essays, memoir, narrative, anecdote, and poetry—not only provides an array of access for interested readers, but informs them of the complexity of the issues at the heart of the book. “I’ve lost my younger years to depression,” she writes, “and I don’t want to lose the better years of my life to it.” Kayla Jeswald’s book of strength and growth unlocks doors for herself and for anyone experiencing these same issues, or for educating concerned family or friends. I highly recommend Stages of Blue.
--Robert Miltner, author of Hotel Utopia and Orpheus & Echo
Stages of Blue describes the search for self amid depression and doubt in painful, at times harrowing, detail. Ultimately, though, the book is a testimony to the value of continued struggle, to the importance of not giving in despite grave obstacles, and to the hope and understanding that wait at the end if we persist. This is a courageous book to have written.
--Steven Reese, author of Excentrica: Notes on the Text