Playwright recounts mental illness
October 26th, 2021
Filmmaker, playwright and mental-health advocate Kagan Goh (at right) has released his debut memoir, Surviving Samsara: A Memoir of Breakdowns, Breakthroughs, and Mental Illness (Caitlin $22.95).
Goh recounts his struggles with manic depression and breaking the silence around mental health issues, particularly among men in his community. He is frank about the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of mental illness, psychotic breakdowns and stigma.
“My personal mission is to educate the public about mental health issues by helping to fight the stigma against people with mental illness,” says Goh who emigrated with his family from Singapore to Canada in 1986 and now lives in Vancouver. “Mental illness is so widespread that no one’s life is untouched by it.”
The term Samsara is a Sanskrit/Pali word that broadly means “world,” although it includes concepts about rebirth and the cycle of life, matter and existence.
Goh goes into detail about family altercations, being pushed to the brink of living on the street and his experiences in hospital wards and welfare offices. All the while, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, he strives for personal growth, healing and transcendence.
Understanding ourselves and one another emerges as a key theme in Goh’s story of recovery and acceptance: “Surviving Samsara is relevant to many peoples’ lives, not just those with a mental illness but also their friends and family,” he says. Goh hopes his memoir will help to make the world a kinder and more tolerant and loving place for all of us. 9781773860329
Photo of Kagan Goh by Lydia Nagai
Surviving Samsara went on sale October 15th, 2021. Details about the book can be found at caitlin-press.com.
Kagan Goh will hold a free virtual book launch Sunday, November 7th at 7 pm PST. The launch will be hosted by author Jodi Lundgren, in partnership with Vancouver’s Book Warehouse book store.
To register for the event, please visit: https://bit.ly/samsara-launch
To order your copy of the book from the Book Warehouse, please visit: https://bit.ly/Goh_Warehouse