Ann E. Jeffers, Ph.D.

Professor | Author | Engineer

Creative Writing

My Forthcoming Memoir, ​Can You Hear the Music? My Journey through Madness

Ann Jeffers has it all–a devoted partner, a child who adores her, and a successful career as a tenure-track professor in a top-ranked engineering program at the University of Michigan. Following her diagnosis of bipolar disorder, while trying to conceive a second child, her world shatters. The bipolar disorder is complicated by the trauma she carries from the Virginia Tech shooting, resulting in a perfect nightmare each time she steps foot in the classroom. She embarks on a journey in search of the right medications and therapy, holding on to the hope that something must be able to help her feel normal again. But despite her best efforts, she suffers debilitatingly low depressions and dangerously high manias peppered with delusions and hallucinations. In a race against time, Ann strives to attain stability before her tenure evaluation, which could grant her job security for life. Through Ann’s journey, we learn perseverance, the power of love, and the healing that can take place when the stigma of mental illness is overcome.

What started as a cathartic process has evolved into story that will have you turning pages. “Can You Hear the Music?” is a rare firsthand account of serious mental illness that tackles the trauma of school shootings head-on. It has the intensity and rawness of “Brain on Fire” while showcasing a character overcoming insurmountable odds in the vein of Sarah Vallance’s “Prognosis.”

Sketch of a demon

Mailing List

Interested in my creative work? Sign up for my mailing list below. New subscribers will receive a PDF of my essay, “First Brush with Psychosis,” which was published in Open Minds Quarterly in 2021.

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Shirt Sale

For a limited time, I have shirts for sale to help offset editing costs for my memoir and to raise awareness of serious mental illness. Go to for more details. A donation of $25 gets you a t-shirt, $40 gets you a hoodie. International shipping available.

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