Thu., Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 28, 7 p.m.
“No one says that unresolved trauma can kill you. If anyone did, maybe people would take it more seriously. Serious as cancer.” Thus writes Mac McClelland in her raw, unflinching new book Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story. Part memoir, part investigative journalism, part searing look at a complex and frequently misunderstood illness, Irritable Hearts chronicles McClelland’s battles with post-traumatic stress disorder — which she first experienced while reporting on the atrocities of post-earthquake Haiti in 2010 for Mother Jones magazine — and whose lingering effects include a delightful grab bag of night terrors, dissociation, numbness, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, hysterical sobbing fits, alcoholism, and more. But far from a beautifully crafted catalog of emotional and cultural cruelties, Irritable Hearts is indeed a love story, seared with an undeniable hopefulness, as well as McClelland’s cheerfully acidic wit and singular talent for storytelling. McClelland will read from her book and sign copies on Thursday at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St., San Francisco) and Saturday at Book Passage in Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.).