|About the Book|
To the outside world Julie Davis has it all--wealth, a doting husband, an apartment on the Upper West Side, and an adorable new baby boy. But underneath the perfect exterior, she is paralyzed by an over-whelming sense of shame and inadequacy. AMoreTo the outside world Julie Davis has it all--wealth, a doting husband, an apartment on the Upper West Side, and an adorable new baby boy. But underneath the perfect exterior, she is paralyzed by an over-whelming sense of shame and inadequacy. A Mouthful of Air begins a few weeks after Julies suicide attempt and on the eve of her sons first birthday. Desperate to lead a normal life, Julie tries to be thankful for the good things, but her emotional demons persist. In the midst of her struggle, she discovers that she is pregnant for a second time, and is forced to come off the medication that has given her the buoyancy to survive. Through sparse, elegant prose, Amy Koppelmans brutally honest portrayal of family and self shows the reader that real problems are indiscriminate of money or birthright. A Mouthful of Air brings to light the complexity and fragility of the human psyche. Amy Koppelmans gracious personality belies her bold nature as a writer. She took on a tough subject, perhaps one of the toughest, and produced a book that is as graceful as it is uncompromising. In a time when redemption is almost a required device in literature written by women, Amy has instead chosen reality because that is what is needed. Being a small part of her shattering debut makes me proud to be in publishing.--P.W. I guess I started writing this book a little after one oclock in the afternoon on April 8, 1994. I didnt take pen to paper. But thats the day I started writing this story. I was twenty-four years old at the time. I had been married for a little over two years to my husband. We had a great apartment on the Upper West Side. There were even a few trees on our block, so it was nice forme- I got to see the seasons change. On this day, I had gotten up early, fixed my husband breakfast, waved him off to work. Then I tidied up the place, drew the shades, and crawled into bed. This was how I spent each day. Hes dead. Whos dead? Kurt Cobain. I have to do this in three hundred words, so I cant go line for line, but you know how the conversation went. What about Rome? But Frances? Why? We hung up and I turned on MTV. Nothing like a visibly shaken Kurt Loder to make you really feel like shit. Anyway, soon after Cobain died, I read Anna Karenina and it struck me that despite being born in different centuries and on different continents, Anna and Kurt were very much alike. I know, youre probably rolling your eyes, thats quite a reach, honey. But this is part of the problem. Most of the time, even for me, its easier tow write depression off, to think of it as just another word for sadness. But depression, not the Im so depressed, I hate mushrooms and theyre everywhere in my salad depression, but the illness that Kurt, Anna, and Julie, the protagonist of my novel, suffer from, is a whole different kind of thing. For them, no amount of love, no amount of passion, no amount of heart is enough to see them through. Today there are medicines that help. And there are countless worthwhile books that document that journey toward recovery. I think its fair to tell you, though: this isnt one of them. Readers always ask me if the book is fiction, and yeah, this is fiction. Im still married. I have two beautiful kids. And I dont spend my days hiding in a dark room. You should see me- I could give Rodin a run for his money with the Play-doh. But who I am today is a longway from who I was when I first started writing. So the feelings in my novel, the fear, the endless self-doubt, well, all that stuff is pretty close to the bone.