Clickety Clack is Joy McDiarmid's behind-the-scenes self-portrait about bipolar mental illness and one of the most ambiguous sexual identities imaginable. Amidst gender and sexuality confusion, this Winnipeg woman began to look for romantic love and sexual fulfilment: sometimes wanting to dress as a man, sometimes as a woman, sometimes attracted to men, sometimes to women.
In candid accounts of this paralysing complexity, which Joy tried valiantly to understand and express despite oppressive social stigmas and parental strictures, her insights about human sexuality and "living the lie" are startling even in this age of open commentary about sex.
This book weaves together her experiences along primitive frontiers of treatment for bipolar disorders and dramas of shock therapy in psychiatric wards, where entire years of Joy's life would slip by even as earlier years were being erased from her memory, with triumphant accomplishments in her competitive and stimulating world of advertising, university work, private enterprise, photography, travel, touring in her MG sports car, and skilful tennis.
Such juxtaposed experiences of defiant courage, supplemented with medical commentary by Joy's psychiatrist Dr. Frances Edye, make Clickety Clack a rare road map to life.