Leatham, Victoria [A pseudonym]

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Leatham, Victoria [A pseudonym]




Home—Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.




Bloodletting: A Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm and Survival, Allen & Unwin (Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia), 2004, New Harbinger Publications (Oakland, CA), 2006.


Victoria Leatham (a pseudonym) describes her long battle with depression and self-mutilation in her book Bloodletting: A Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm and Survival. The memoir follows Leatham from her late teens when she realizes that she is depressed and begins to succumb to her urge to cut herself repeatedly, all of this taking place in between hospital visits to get stitched up. Leatham writes about her visits to psychiatric hospitals and a turning point when she is finally diagnosed with manic depression. Leatham probes the reasons why she turned to self-mutilation and writes about her many years battling the disease as she describes incompetent doctors, a series of failed relationships, and her moving from city to city and from job to job in Australia as she seeks to find some semblance of recovery and normalcy in her life.

Several reviewers noted that they liked Bloodletting despite its difficult subject matter. "I was amazed at how much I enjoyed this book," wrote Claire Robson, in Herizons, adding that the author "takes us with her on every step of her hard road to recovery." Other reviewers commented on the book's value for readers. For example, a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the author's "searing memoir will resonate with young women struggling with similar problems." Journal of Australian Studies contributor Geoff Parkes noted that the book "should be positively judged on its efforts to present self-narratives where few exist, in a field where such works can have profound effects in terms of self-association and care-seeking behaviours."



Leatham, Victoria, Bloodletting: A Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm and Survival, New Harbinger Publications (Oakland, CA), 2006.


Guardian (London, England), May 14, 2005, Lucy Mangan, review of Bloodletting.

Herizons, winter, 2007, Claire Robson, review of Bloodletting.

Journal of Australian Studies, June, 2004, Geoff Parkes, review of Bloodletting, p. 140.

Law Society Journal, February, 2005, Claudia Ganora, review of Bloodletting, p. 84.

Publishers Weekly, January 23, 2006, review of Bloodletting, p. 203.

Sydney Morning Herald, May 15, 2004, Natasha Cica, review of Bloodletting.


API Network,http://www.api-network.com/ (April 17, 2007), Geoff Parkes, review of Bloodletting.

Telegraph.co.uk,http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ (March 25, 2006), review of Bloodletting.