A writer's lifelong battle with mental illness. Demonic to Divine: The Double Life of Shulamis Yelin is a weaving of the Montreal writer's stories and selected diary excerpts and family photographs revealing a far-reaching creative personality who is haunted from the age of ten by the moods taking over. This book poignantly illuminates the dramatic duality of a public and private literary and emotional life through published and unpublished stories of an idyllic Montreal Jewish childhood contrasted with deeply troubled and often shocking diary entries that document the author's lifelong battle with mental illness. Yelin's insightful yet light and humorous stories have been cherished by generations of children and adults for their universal appeal. The journal entries that she maintained for most of her 90 years document the abuse, paraia, self-loathing, doubt, and devastating depression of Yelin's true emotional state. These concurrent lenses reveal the profound struggles and suffering of a fascinating and highly gifted woman who transcended her ongoing deep-seated emotional agony to create a significant literary legacy. The many threads of this multilayered book have been woven together though the collaboration of Yelin's daughter, Gilah Yelin Hirsch and Yelin's first stories' editor, Nancy Marrelli.
Shulamis Yelin was an influential teacher and writer who was named a Master Teacher by the Protestant School Board of Montreal, and in 1963 won the LaMed Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. She is the author of Seeded in Sinai and Shulamis: Stories from a Montreal Childhood. Gilah Yelin Hirsch is a multidisciplinary artist and professor of art at California State University-Dominguez Hills. She lives in Los Angeles. Nancy Marrelli is archivist emerita at Concordia University, and the author of Burgundy Jazz: Little Burgundy and the Story of Montreal Jazz and Stepping Out: The Golden Age of Montreal Night Clubs. Laurence Kirmayer, MD, is James McGill Professor, and director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry in the department of psychiatry at McGill University. He lives in Montreal.