In this interview Mary Jelkovsky speaks with the beautiful and talented writer Esmé Wang about what it’s like living with chronic and mental illness. Esmé shares her most helpful tools for dealing with depression and anxiety, especially during this difficult time where everything is uncertain. She also gives advice on how we should approach people with disability and how social justice must coexist in our conversations about mental health.
In February 2019, Graywolf Press published Esmé’s essay collection, The Collected Schizophrenias, which became a New York Times bestseller and the Los Angeles Review of Books stated that “Esmé Weijun Wang is poised to become a major writer, and this is her origin story.” Her debut novel, The Border of Paradise, has received accolades and kind words from places such as LitHub, NPR Books, and the Chicago Review of Books. She was selected by Granta for their once-a-decade Best of Young American Novelists list of 21 authors under 40, and she received the prestigious Whiting Award in 2018.