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Nowhere Near Normal

Nowhere Near Normal

A Memoir of OCD

  • freshman reading
In the bestselling tradition of Augusten Burroughs, a compassionate, witty, and completely candid memoir that chronicles growing up with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

When all the neighborhood kids were playing outdoors, seven-year-old Traci Foust was inside making sure the miniature Catholic saint statues on her windowsill always pointed north, scratching out bald patches on her scalp, and snapping her fingers after every utterance of the word God. As Traci grew older, her OCD blossomed to include panic attacks and bizarre behaviors, including a fear of the sun, an obsession with contracting eradicated diseases, and the idea that she could catch herself on fire just by thinking about it. While stints of therapy -- and lots of Nyquil -- sometimes helped, nothing alleviated the fact that her single mother and mid-life crisis father had no idea how to deal with her.

Traci Foust shares her wacky and compelling journey with brutal honesty, from becoming a teenage runaway on the poetry slam beat in the hippie beach towns of Northern California to living at a family-owned nursing home, in a room with a seventy-five- year-old WWII Vet who kept mistaking her for a prostitute. In this funny, frenetic, and wonderfully dark-humored account of her struggles with a variety of psychological disorders, Traci ultimately concludes that there is nothing special about being “normal.”
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  • Gallery Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439192511 | 
  • April 2014
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About the Author

Traci Foust
Photograph by Ruby Lucy

Traci Foust

Traci Foust grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and received a degree in American Literature from UCSC. Her writing credits included contemporary short fiction in The Black Satellite Anthology (2000) to winning the Northern California Olympiad of the Arts award for the same category. She has also been published in Hyperlexia Literary Journal (3/09). She currently lives in San Diego, CA. Nowhere Near Normal is her first book-length work of nonfiction.

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