David Stuart MacLean

“Mesmerizing.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Riveting, sad, and funny . . . Both a sharply written autobiography and an insightful meditation on how much our memories define our identities.” — Booklist

“A mesmerizing, unsettling memoir about the ever-echoing nature of identity, written in vivid, blooming detail.” — Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

[MacLean] is an exceedingly entertaining psychotic . . . [A] raw, honest and beautiful memoir.”—" - The New York Times

“A gripping medical mystery, a heartwarming personal journey, and a chilling indictment of the commonly prescribed drug that upended MacLean’s life — but left his superb literary skills intact.” — Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


“Incandescent . . . MacLean’s account is raw and unsparing, and will surely take you out of your comfort zone — the reader is immersed in the writer’s oblivion and his vertiginous journey of recovery — but the reward for sticking with it is the privilege of reading MacLean’s profound and finely nuanced meditation on memory and identity.” — Seattle Times

If bad things are going to happen, we are lucky when they happen to someone with the wit, humanity and sweetness — to say nothing of an eye for detail and a gift for pacing — that MacLean brings to this wrenching tale . . . Readers who flip open the book will find MacLean, preserved between pages, goofy and serious, lost and found.” — Chicago Tribune

“[MacLean] writes eloquently about the bizarre and disturbing experience of having his sense of self erased and then reconstructed from scratch.” — The New Yorker

“As harrowing as this territory is, MacLean makes an affable, sure-footed guide . . . Thanks to his raw, honest, and beautiful memoir, readers will already have a clear idea what his experience was like. We can be grateful MacLean has remembered so much, and so well.” — The New York Times

“A deeply moving account of amnesia that explores the quandary of the self . . . MacLean has written a memoir that combines the evocative power of William Styron’s Darkness Visible, the lyric subtlety of Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family, and the narrative immediacy of a Hollywood action film. He reminds us how we are all always trying to find a version of ourselves that we can live with.” — Los Angeles Times



David Stuart MacLean is a PEN/American award-winning essayist. His essays and stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Guernica, Bennington Review, Quarterly West, Gulf Coast, The New York Times, the Guardian, and on the radio program This American Life.

He is the author of the memoir The Answer to the Riddle Is Me, which won Best Memoir/Biography by the Society of Midland Authors and was named one of the Best Books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews.


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He has a PhD in Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Houston, he was a Fulbright Scholar in India, and is a co-founder of the award-winning Poison Pen Reading Series. He has an MFA in Fiction from New Mexico State University and a BA in English from Warren Wilson College.

He has been a  featured speaker at medical conferences, writing conferences, schools, universities, art galleries, and counseling centers. 


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In 2018, an essay of his titled "The Golden Friendship Club" was named as an honorable mention in both Best American Essays and Pushcart Prizes in Fiction. In 2018 as well, David attended the first ever Quinism Conference and served as the inaugural Sue Rose Lecturer.

He lives in Chicago


For all Booking Inquiries contact Stephanie Kip Rostan @ L.G.R Literary  

For all other inquiries masaladosa@davidmaclean.net