Jewish Journal: In ‘Don’t Go Crazy Without Me’ Deborah A. Lott Unpacks Being ‘Extraordinary’ Or Mentally Ill

The meaning of the intriguing title of Lott’s courageous and endearing memoir snaps into sharp focus. “My father and I were not ordinary,” she writes. “Oh no, we had formed an alliance around being extraordinary.” Even as a 4-year-old, she recalls, her mother used the Yiddish word tummel to describe “psychic commotion” that characterized her father, “noise and hilarity, noise and calamity.”  Yet, she was fascinated by her “shape-shifting” father – “would-be actor, teller of dark truths, funhouse amusement, sexy gorilla, and his favorite role: lay rabbi of the La Crescenta Valley Jewish Community Center.”