David Armand to release ‘My Mother’s House’

Alex Brainard

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David Armand sits at his office desk located in D. Vickers Hall.
He has released a number of books and was a finalist in the
2016 Foreword Revies Book Award in the literary fiction category.
The Lion's Roar / Alex Brainard

English instructor David Armand has written another book titled, “My Mother’s House.  

“My Mother’s House” is a non-fiction memoir about Armand’s life. 

“It focuses on my relationship with my mother who is schizophrenic,” said Armand. “She didn’t raise me, but I met her five years ago after she tried to commit suicide. It was weird because it was my birthday when I started to write it. I didn’t think I was going to write a book, I thought I was going to write a blog, just thinking about my mother. I thought I’d just write about 1500 words about her and she’ll never see it but I just wanted to do it. When I started writing this blog, after the first day I had three thousand words. Within six weeks I had 50,000 words.”

For some, this kind of memoir could be an emotional topic. However, according to Armand, he was not sad while writing this. Armand feels that this event is just him telling people his story and another piece of his life.

“I wasn’t writing this for therapy, I felt obligated to write the story of her but also about how screwed up the mental health system is in Louisiana,” said Armand. “That’s what’s hard and sad about this, I don’t talk to her anymore. It isn’t because I can’t, it’s because she’s ill but she won’t recognize her illness. She dominates so much of my time and my emotional energy; I had to cut her out of my life. It’s hard because it is a tribute to her, even though if she read it she’d be upset because she doesn’t think anything is wrong with her. In the book, the first paragraph says she’s schizophrenic and she won’t accept that is true.”

Armand has discovered that writing memoirs is similar to a new genre of writing for his stories because he never knew he would enjoy writing them so much.

“That’s one thing I learned about memoir writing,” said Armand. “I talk to people who say ‘I’m writing a memoir but its four thousand pages long.’ And they think they have to put everything in their life that’s ever happened to them. From my understanding, the memoirs I’ve liked are like an essay, you have to focus it. The memoir focuses on just my mother and me growing up on the shadow of her illness.”

Armand has written many books before and has become very successful, as his success only continues to grow. Armand was recently named the winner of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Award for Excellence in Artistic Activity. He was also named as a finalist as in the 2016 Foreword Reviews Book Award in the literary fiction category

My Mother’s House” will be available to students and Armand fans on Tuesday, Apr. 5 at his book launch from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Writing Center in D. Vickers Room 210. 

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