Zack McDermott was a young, successful public defender for the Legal Aid Society of New York City when he awoke one morning convinced that he was being filmed Truman Show–style for a TV pilot. His debut book, Gorilla and the Bird, catalogues his freefall into bipolar-induced psychosis and the relationship that saved him. Ben Jenkins talks with Zack – whose work has appeared on This American Life and in the New York Times – to learn more about his captivating story.

Zack McDermott (International)

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Zack McDermott worked as a public defender for The Legal Aid Society of New York for six years. His work has appeared in The New York Times, This American Life, Deadspin and other publications. His new memoir, Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother’s Love, chronicles Zack's bipolar disorder and the extraordinary ways his sharp, stalwart mother (aka 'the Bird,' who once dubbed him 'Gorilla' because of his hulky chest and excessive body hair) helped him live through it. Gorilla and the Bird has been optioned by Channing Tatum’s production company for a television series.

Ben Jenkins (Australian)

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Ben Jenkins is a writer, comedian and television presenter on the ABC. His work has been featured in The Monthly, The Guardian Australia, People of Letters and The Best Australian Comedy Writing.