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"This is an extraordinary book. It is at once an intimate memoir of a young man's fierce internal struggle; a document of an era—the Sixties, with its idealism, mysticism, subversion, and excess; and a meditation on the mysteries of language, memory, and the self. Formally daring, ruthlessly honest, and written in limpid, expressive prose, it explodes the clichés and conventions of most non-fiction."

—Siri Hustvedt, author of What I Loved.

"So rich in incident, so vividly told, and often so buoyantly funny, Agee's miraculous book soars beyond glib classification. An international picaresque and a metaphysical detective yarn; the memoirs of an ex-hippy and a chemical horror tale--none of these conveys the scope and power of this genuine work of art."

—Erik Wensberg, co-author of Modern American Usage.

“This book chronicles a harrowing journey into a mind-made state of torment and damnation—a hell from which many people never return, let alone go on to describe their ordeal with such lucid, poetic realism. In addition to telling a riveting and often very funny tale, Joel Agee shows that the only sure release from such a hell is by the nearly impossible task of tracing the productions of the mind back to their ultimate source—pure consciousness, free of all constructs and projections. In this, the book offers a palpable and singularly important demonstration of essential Buddhist teachings on the unlimited capacity of thought to create heavens and hells, and on the possibility, even in hell, of recovering our undamaged original self beyond the grasp of the mind.”
—Peter Fenner, author of Radiant Mind: Awakening Unconditioned Awareness

“Joel Agee’s In The House Of My Fear is to sixties memoirs what his father James Agee’s masterpiece Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was to Depression journalism: an unclassifiable work, hugely ambitious, exasperatingly self-conscious, but also, at its best, piercingly eloquent and intelligent. Agee focuses on his own journey toward breakdown and recovery, beginning with his discovery of LSD, as well as the fate of his brilliant schizophrenic brother, Stefan, whose lucid torment lights up every page on which he appears. This is no ordinary memoir, for only a genuine writer could have written it.”
—Morris Dickstein, author of Gates of Eden: American Culture in the Sixties.

“Here is the proverbial ‘fear and trembling’ become an instrument of exploration, reflection. A writer’s search for meaning and purpose, for a secure sense of identity, compellingly, lucidly told, will surely prompt in grateful readers the high compliment of a similar intensity of moral introspection."
—Robert Coles, author of The Mind’s Fate: A Psychiatrist Looks at his Profession.


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