“This moving memoir is always attuned to the possibilities of community and spiritual sustenance, even as it refuses to efface the struggles at its core—believing that this struggle, too, can be a thing of beauty.” —Leslie Jamison, author of The Recovering

In this revelatory memoir, Anna Gazmarian tells the story of how her evangelical upbringing in North Carolina failed to help her understand the mental health diagnosis she received, and the work she had to do to find proper medical treatment while also maintaining her faith.

When Anna is diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011, she’s faced with a conundrum: while the diagnosis provides clarity about her manic and depressive episodes, she must confront the stigma that her evangelical community attaches to her condition. Over the course of ten years, we follow Anna on her journey to reframe her understanding of mental health to expand the limits of what her religious practice can offer.

In Devout: A Memoir of Doubt, Anna shows that pursuing our emotional health and our spiritual well-being is one single mission and, in both cases, an act of faith.

About the author(s)

Anna Gazmarian holds an MFA in creative writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her essays have been published in The Rumpus, LongreadsThe Sun, and The Guardian. Anna works for The Sun Magazine and lives with her family in Durham, North Carolina.


“A righteously angry debut, a testimony that will speak to both God-fearing and secular readers, any of us in search for a love not conditioned on obedience.” —Oprah Daily

“If readers feel seen by this book and thus saved from the stigma they, like Gazmarian, might have carried like a cross, that’s no small accomplishment.” –Carlene Bauer, The New York Times

“Interwoven within Gazmarian’s striking narrative of diagnosis, acceptance, and navigation of mental illness is the thread (and threat) of religion… her memoir dramatizes the highly individual and incredibly isolating process of wrestling with faith.”Courtney Tenz, Los Angeles Review of Books

“Gazmarian’s dazzling debut memoir delivers a potent examination of the intersection between faith and mental health.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Gazmarian discovers that hope and lament can coexist; her perseverance
deepens her faith, and she concludes on an optimistic note with a beautiful letter to her daughter.” –Booklist

“Anna Gazmarian’s Devout is a soulful, candid, deeply curious account of doubt as an inevitable part of faith. It finds grace in the most specific and surprising places: conversations about poetry in the back of a dim donut shop; thousand-year-old olive trees; coloring beside a devoted partner in the evenings; a toddler’s tenderness. This moving memoir is always attuned to the possibilities of community and spiritual sustenance, even as it refuses to efface the struggles at its core—believing that this struggle, too, can be a thing of beauty.”
–LESLIE JAMISON, author of The Recovering

“This book is a work of reclamation. With unwavering courage and honesty, Anna Gazmarian investigates the overlapping complexities of religious faith, mental illness, and the often dangerous gospels around healing in both spiritual and secular realms. More than a story of lost and found faith, Devout is a clear-eyed account of what happens when the ceiling caves in and the foundation crumbles, and we have to do the painful yet powerful work of rebuilding on new ground.” —SULEIKA JAOUAD, author of Between Two Kingdoms

“In Devout, Anna Gazmarian reexamines the Bible and her Evangelical upbringing through the lens of bipolar disease to uncover both the violations and gifts of the religious tradition from which she emerged. A smart and searching account of one woman’s journey away from inherited shame and into the light of love.”  –RACHEL YODER, author of Nightbitch

“Unlike what she was offered, Anna paints a picture of a life of faith that includes the complexity of humanness. She shows us that despite what rigid, exclusionary, and inaccurate narratives of mental health we are so offered in the church, that a life of faith and communion with God happens not in spite of outside of them, but in the middle of the diagnosis, the doctors appointments, the medication, the brave conversations to ask for help, and the risk to keep trying even when we're scared. We need more stories like Anna's to be told.” –DR. HILLARY McBRIDE, author of The Wisdom Of Your Body 

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