Rave Reviews



The book is out! . . .


Girl in Need of a Tourniquet
Memoir of a Borderline Personality

. . . and getting rave reviews!


"In this frenzied emotional punch of a memoir, Johnson chronicles her personal struggle with borderline personality disorder and her long road toward finding help."
Entertainment Weekly 

“Merri Lisa Johnson takes you, at breakneck speed, through a brilliant young writer’s chaotic life and a remarkable m√©lange of important psychological theory. The result is vivid, heartbreaking, and deeply feminist.”
Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Look Both Ways and co-author of Manifesta and Grassroots

Girl in Need of A Tourniquet is an artful, brave memoir that invites compassion from those on the outside of borderline personality disorder and inspires hope for those on the inside.”
Randi Kreger, author of Stop Walking on Eggshells and The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder

“With the eye of a detective, the hand of a surgeon, and the heart of a postmodern fabulist, Merri Lisa Johnson relentlessly pieces together the truths of her borderline behavior, diagnosis, and recovery. Unflinching, ruthless, and always compelling, Girl in Need of A Tourniquet shows us the furiously beating, all-too-human heart under all the blood.”
Daphne Gottlieb, author of Why Things Burn, Final Girl, and Kissing Dead Girls

“Lisa Johnson may have written the first truly lyrical book-length memoir. Girl in Need of A Tourniquet is a fiercely intelligent, formally inventive, emotionally searing account of borderline personality disorder.”
Susannah Mintz, author of Unruly Bodies: Life Writing by Women with Disabilities

“This book delves with intelligence and insight into the chaos of a disordered mind, leaving the reader at once astonished, sometimes baffled, and enlightened.”
Nancy Mairs, author of Waist-High in the World: A Life among the Non-Disabled



"I can hardly express the hope and camaraderie I feel after reading Girl in Need of a Tourniquet and interviewing Lisa.  Her refreshing candor about the ongoing journey towards recovery has helped me immensely."
Amanda Smith, Executive Director, Florida Borderline Personality Disorder Association



"All of it is impressive, but I think the chapter 'Becoming Borderline' is brilliant. A fair number of memoirists have tried to take on the diagnostic urge, and I don't know if I've ever seen such a nuanced and smart approach. Particularly in light of the reams of pages about BPD that have been written in the form of handbooks or family 'survival guides,' your book truly needed to happen. I'm so glad you wrote it."
Margaret Price, Author of Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life 


"Merri Lisa Johnson’s captivating memoir, Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline Personality, is a peek into the unknown. What is a borderline personality disorder—other than something your friends tell you all your exes probably have? As Johnson explains, it is a mix of the neurotic and psychotic, with a dash of chaos and a hint of insatiability; it’s a concoction that will make you crazy but incredibly self-aware. Filled with all the flaws that make beauty possible, Johnson lets us dive into her soul and follow her journey of self-discovery and acceptance. Mixed with psychoanalytic theory and true emotion, she strips the epidermis and exposes us to the loveliness of the 'strange' that is in everyone. Sit back and indulge on this delightful slice of reality, and remember to leave those closed minds at the borderline."
Amber Amey, Sacramento News and Review


"Girl in Need of a Tourniquet is an exremely creative and uniquely structured memoir that educates and challenges readers to re-examine their thinking about Borderline Personality Disorder . . . A very courageous and brilliant book."
A. J. Mahari, Host of Psyche Whisperer Blog Talk Radio


"I have been desperate to see someone able to critically analyze the diagnosis while at the same time identifying with it.  I've read most if not all of the previous feminist critiques of BPD and while there is much to agree with, the fact remains that it's a construct that is highly useful and in my opinion necessary to freeing oneself from the suffering it causes.  You, I believe, are the only person right now who is bridging that divide and that's truly impressive and incredibly necessary!"
Kiera Van Gelder, Author of The Buddha and the Borderline

"harrowing . . . artful . . . Girl in Need isn't a 'how I healed' tale, and Johnson isn't as concerned with the therapeutic road to wellness as she is with how 'becoming' borderline coalesces with her coming out, becoming an adult, and accessing her buried grief . . .  Johnson also writes toward a meta-analysis of the borderline diagnosis.  Her 'Becoming Borderline' chapter provides . . . a feminist conceptualization of the diagnosis . . . , an analytic glimpse into the pathologization of women's behaviors that illuminates just how mental-illness memoirs can best move us from gawking at the breakdown to accessing the larger feminist story."
Ellen Papazian, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture