I want to thank all my friends, and kind people whom I don't know, for your messages of congratulations in recent days regarding the appearance of NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE on end-of-year book lists in newspapers and magazines.
To the extent that NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE has given solace to afflicted and bereaved families, I am glad.
To the extent that it has encouraged direly needed discussion and education as to the unique and hazily understood nature of serious mental illness - a genetically inherited brain disease that as of now can be stabilized yet not cured - to that extent, I can take comfort in being of some small use.
To the extent that it has shown a light into the mangled, dysfunctional, shamefully mis-managed or unmanaged universe of mental health care (especially as it intertwines with the criminal-justice system, public policy and law enforcement), I can feel that, in the twilight of a long checkered writerly life, I have finally lived up to that romantic journalist's mandate to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
All of this (to invoke a goofy profound phrase I heard years ago and have kept in my heart ever since) is duck feathers in the wind.
I neither expect nor require any further external accolades for NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE.
No more lists, no awards - that will all be fine with me, my wife, Honoree, and my son, Dean. To desire or congratulate myself over any of these transient things, given what the book is about, would be unspeakably obscene.
NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE is ultimately a consecration of my family - especially of our lost son and brother, Kevin, whose absence still wounds us every day, and whose presence still fills my nightly dreams with his heartbreaking beauty.
And so this book is for you, Kevin. It's the nearest I can come to making you permanent. Everything else is lagniappe.