Dr. Alvarez (IMA ’10, MFAW-VT’13) is a Filipino writer and scholar who studies narratives of health and illness, communication about suicide and end of life, and stigmatized individuals’ use of digital platforms to co-create meaning and community. Dr. Alvarez is currently Postdoctoral Diversity and Innovation Scholar at the University of New Hampshire, where he teaches end of life communication.
A common thread through Mike’s work is honoring the perspectives of stigmatized individuals on their own subjective terms. We discuss Mike’s book The Paradox of Suicide and Creativity which includes psychobiographies of creative people who committed suicide including Yukio Mishima, Iris Chang, Kurt Cobain and others, as well as essays on whether creativity is intrinsically healing and the medicalization of life and death. We also talk about Mike’s upcoming memoir, The Color of Dusk, which details his past struggle with mental health and suicide. Finally we discuss Mike’s latest writing project as the lead author of a book-in-progress, “A Plague for Our Time: Dying and Death in the Age of Covid-19.” Despite the seriousness of the topics, we laugh about our personal experiences through the pandemic; life pivots through and from Goddard; and Amanda and Mike’s shared love for Korean barbecue!
Find The Paradox of Suicide and Creativity in print or as an e-book at Rowman & Littlefield or wherever books are sold online. You can also request the book from your library.
For more about Mike please visit his website: https://www.mfalvarez.net/
Follow Mike on Twitter: @mfalvarez121