Memoir •  Medicine and Chicana and Chicano

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A Life on Hold: Living with Schizophrenia

Josie Méndez-Negrete

First Place Winner of the 2016 International Latino Book Award for Best Health Book

For more than twenty years Josie Méndez-Negrete has endured the emotional journey of watching her son Tito struggle with schizophrenia. Her powerful account is the first memoir by a Mexican American author to share the devastation and hope a family experiences in dealing with this mental illness. Méndez-Negrete depicts the evolution of the disease from her perspective as a parent and by relating Tito’s own narrative, illuminating the inadequacies of the US mental health system and the added burdens of addiction and blame. Through the author, Tito paints a vivid picture of his lived experiences and everyday traumas to show how his life and the lives of his loved ones have been impacted by mental illness.


Josie Méndez-Negrete is a sociologist who teaches Mexican American studies in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is also the author of Las hijas de Juan: Daughters Betrayed.


“Méndez-Negrete weaves powerful accounts of her visits to her son with factual information from professional literature. . . . [A Life on Hold] will make you appreciate what is right in your life and what is right in the human race.”


Story Circle Book Reviews

“A truly extraordinary account, A Life on Hold: Living with Schizophrenia is an absolutely absorbing read from beginning to end. Candid, informative, intensely personal, detailed, and deftly written.”


Midwest Book Review

6 x 9 in. 296 pages 10 drawings