Were you an alienated teenage artist during your teen years? My latest book might really interest you!
Many years ago, my son, living in Europe at the time, married a Russian doctor and went to live with her in Siberia. They had a daughter, Katya. My son and his wife divorced and he moved to Brazil, where he lives today. Katya grew up with her mother in Siberia and is now 18 years old, turning 19 this month. During this past year, I had the amazing pleasure of inviting her to contribute to the book of mine that came out just this week, Why Smart Teens Hurt.
Katya would email me her thoughts about whatever we’d chatted about in one of our Zoom calls and those thoughts got incorporated into the book. I think this has turned out to be a super-interesting book that gets at one of those subjects that is a little taboo to talk about, like many of the subjects that interest me, from the illegitimacy of psychiatry and its “mental disorder” paradigm to religion as a perfect refuge for the authoritarian impulse: namely, that intelligence, whatever that is exactly, distributes across the species in a normal and natural way; and that if you have a higher-than-average intelligence, that is bound to produce certain characteristic challenges.
In Why Smart Teens Hurt, I congregate those challenges into sixteen topic areas, among them individuality, alienation, idealistic and creative hunger, and sadness, especially existential sadness. I think, for certain teens, this is a sharper and truer picture of the teenage years than one that lumps all teenagers together, as if they were a homogenous group. Visit any high school campus and see which kids hang together, and why; and which kids do not hang with anyone. Indeed, I think you will see your own teenage years described in this book: and those challenges haven’t ended for you, have they? In that sense, this book is as much for the smart adult who was once a smart teen as for a teenage audience, and I hope that you will take a look at it. I think you will really enjoy it and appreciate it.