The 2022-23 Common Book is “Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me.”

Winona State University Common Book Project will feature Ellen Forney’s "Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me."

"Marbles" Common Book Cover

About the Book

Forney’s graphic memoir was a New York Times bestseller and Washington Post book of the year. Check out what Myla Goldberg from NPR had to say about "Marbles":

“'Marbles,' cartoonist Ellen Forney's excellent graphic memoir about being bipolar, opens with her in the middle of a 5 1/2-hour session in a tattoo parlor.

Every time the needle traces a line, Forney writes, she can ‘see the sensation—a bright white light, an electrical charge.’ Those opening words are a perfect description of her book.

From the very first page, Forney allows us to see sensation—to inhabit, as closely as possible, her bipolar world, from its manic, exhilarating highs to its oceanic, debilitating lows.

Bipolar disorder defies easy treatment; each individual patient must become their own guinea pig to discover the balance of medication and lifestyle therapies that will allow him or her to achieve long-term stability.

For Forney, this was an intense four-year process that she chronicles with her deceptively simple drawing style, an emotive line that matches her expressive prose.”

Your Assignment

If you choose to read "Marbles," incorporate what you take away from the book into your life while at Winona State University.

The book will be adopted in numerous sections of ENG 111: College Reading and Writing, and it may be adopted in other courses as well.

Use this opportunity to learn more about the greater community and turn your knowledge into action.

Where to Buy

"Marbles” is published by Penguin Random House and is available from the publisher, WSU bookstore, and other booksellers.

Additionally, a packet of teaching and contextual materials for prospective faculty adopters is available for those teaching the book.

Faculty adopters should simply list the book on their book request for Fall and/or Spring.

Special Thanks

Funding for the Common Book has generously been made available by the College of Liberal Arts and the WSU Cabinet.

For more information about the project, please contact April Herndon at