Things That Helped: On Postpartum Depression


“Jessica Friedmann navigates her recovery from postpartum depression in a wide-ranging collection of personal essays”–Amazon.com.


Jessica Friedmann is a writer and editor living in Canberra, Australia, with her husband and small son. A graduate of the University of Melbourne with an honors thesis in creative writing, for which she won an R. G. Wilson Scholarship, her work has appeared in The RumpusThe Lifted BrowSmith JournalDumbo FeatherArtsHubThe Age, and other publications. Jessica is the author of Things That Helped: On Postpartum Depression.

Praise for Things That Helped

“A beautifully lyrical and intellectually complex series of essays . . . Jessica Friedmann is able to celebrate and interrogate the vivid, grotesque, and sublime tissues of the female body.” –Erin Bartnett, Electric Literature

“A necessary and compelling collection of essays . . . In reading Friedmann, one thing is clear: she is an extraordinary thinker, a precise and complex writer, a tireless seeker of le mot juste. . . Watching a keen mind wrestle is one of the pleasures of reading nonfiction, and this book is a prime example . . . Despite the horror she narrates, her prose rarely strays from a calm, thoughtful tone. And this is the genius of Things That Helped it’s bringing light to an aspect of women’s lives that publishing has thus far turned away from, and it’s doing so with such beauty, with such precision and skill, that these struggles can no longer be ignored.” –Katharine Coldiron, Proximity

“Exquisitely written . . . breathtaking . . . Wise, thoughtful, and provocative, Things That Helped raises important issues and asks important questions about white privilege, unequal access to medical care, cultural memory, and how best to navigate complex relationships with peers, family, employers, and acquaintances. The things that helped Friedmann may not help everyone suffering from postpartum depression, but as a testament to recovery, the text is sure to inspire, uplift, and educate.” –Eleanor J. Bader, Rewire.News

“[Friedmann] never succumbs to sentimentality in these pages even when it’s obvious how much she loves (or has learned to love) her son and how fortunate she feels for all that she has. Well-rendered essays that make readers think and feel deeply.” —Kirkus

“By carefully and deliberately describing the pain, dissociation, discomfort, alienation, and other forms of havoc she experienced after birthing her son, Friedmann legitimates and recognizes the physical, psychological, and political features of postpartum depression.” —Booklist

“[Friedmann] writes with brutal originality.” –Terri Apter, The Times Literary Supplement

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