Drag by Domenic D. Augustus and S.M., one of the many works edited by CambridgeEditors is August and Dudley’s first novel. The book follows the life of Vincent, a sociopathic man caught in the whirlwind of his own mental health and the vicissitudes of everyday life. We are transported to Everett, MA and glimpse the punch of Boston’s vernacular, imagery, and energy. Using third-person omniscient view, Augustus and Dudley capture the complexity of Vincent’s mind and give perspective to the multifaceted decisions surrounding thoughts of suicide, addiction, and the descent into madness.
Reading the book for the first time, I became completely invested in the characters’ lives and the life of Vincent. Because the book gives the reader an inside perspective into the thoughts, choices, and reasons behind forthcoming decisions, I sympathized deeply for Vincent, who was hastily characterized as a sociopath by those around him. I saw Vincent as someone who had been mischaracterized and dragged–– so to speak–– in the mud of the taboo surrounding mental health.
A line that Vincent repeats to himself throughout the book is “I am–– Numb.” I thought a lot about this remark and realized that maybe it wasn’t Vincent who was numb, but the people around him; if we do not reach out to those who are struggling with mental health issues, we prove ourselves numb to those we love. The book drives this point home by including the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in its epigraph at the beginning, coupled with a quote by Augustus himself: “I have made wrong decisions in my life, but when my world got me down what I finally did was write.”
I encourage all of you to read Drag, reach out to the people you love, and write if you are feeling down. Feel free to reach out to CambridgeEditors with your writing!