I recently sat down with Scott Jones over at the Give and Take Podcast to talk about the stories behind my new book To Lose the Madness: Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity. The tale in this book is a messy one, but it has taught me many things. Among the lessons is: it is always hard to see where breakdown ends and the breakthrough begins.

Someone once observed that if Howard Stern and Krista Tippett had a love child, it would be Scott Jones. Scott liked that.

At “Give and Take,” Scott Jones talks with artists, authors, theologians, and political pundits about the lens through which they experience life. With empathy, humor, and a deep knowledge of religion, current events, and pop culture, Scott engages his guests in a free-flowing conversation that’s entertaining, unexpected, occasionally bizarre, and oftentimes enlightening. He likes people, and it shows.

Past interviewees include Mark Oppenheimer, Melissa Febos, David French, Miroslav Volf, Dan Savage, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Rob Bell, and (yes) Krista Tippett.

Listen to the episode below.

To Lose the Madness blurb website

In this career-defining work, Browning explores the breaking point every mind has after finding her own limit during a gauntlet of traumatic events. Pulled out of this blast-crater moment in her life by a friend, she is brought away from the insanity and deep into the snowy Sangre de Cristo Mountains where, standing in front of a herd of wild buffalo, she comes face to face with the terms we all must come to surrounding the loss we face in this life. Offering no answers and seeking no pity, Browning lays herself bare in this radically authentic offering. She carries restricted subjects such as miscarriage, mental illness, and suicide out of the silence by offering her own private journey as an example of the power of transcendence.

Early Praise for To Lose the Madness

“In this spellbinding book, poet and novelist Browning spares no detail in telling the story of her descent into profound grief as one loss piled upon another. Though small, this effective and plainspoken memoir is densely packed with tales of harrowing experiences that require emotional, intellectual, and spiritual investments on the part of the reader. Browning’s journey of recovery will be of help to anyone looking for courage in difficult times.” Publishers Weekly

“A laconic, beautiful, and deeply insightful account about coping with loss.” Kirkus Reviews

“Browning’s essay explores the confluence of natural and interior landscapes in a manner both beautiful and searing.”Foreword Reviews, {5 Stars}

“Impressively candid and articulate, extraordinarily honest and insightful, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, To Lose the Madness: Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity is an inherently compelling read from cover to cover. Thoughtful and thought-provoking from first page to last, To Lose the Madness is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library collections.” Midwest Book Review, *Reviewer’s Choice

“Browning brings us inside the disoriented unfolding of a life taking new shape after trauma. This is not a ‘tie a neat bow around it’ trauma and recovery story with a too-simple happy ending, but a messy, honest look at a life that will never be the same.” –Lilly Dancyger, Deputy Editor of Narratively

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