Girl, InterruptedBook - 1993
Recounts the two years the author spent in the McLean psychiatric hospital and examines the reality of the hospital world
Blackwell North Amer
In 1967, after a session with a doctor she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital that was as renowned for its famous clientele - Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles were among its patients - as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its rare sanctuary.
In a series of spare, razor-sharp vignettes marked by startling black humor, "Kaysen writes as lucidly about the dark jumble inside her head as she does about the hospital routines, the staff, the patients." (Kirkus Reviews) Through her own experiences (augmented by pages from her medical record) and those of her fellow patients, Kaysen opens up the world of the hospital and questions the social and emotional assumptions that divide people into deviant or normal.
More than a story of young women and madness, Girl, Interrupted is a brilliant evocation of a "parallel universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. It is a clear-sighted, unflinching historical document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of mental illness and recovery.
Spare vignettes recall the two years that the author spent in the McLean psychiatric hospital and investigate the reality of the hospital world. By the author of Asa, As I Knew Him. 17,500 first printing. $15,000 ad/promo. Tour.
From the critics
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I told her once I wasn’t good at anything. She told me survival is a talent.
I got better and Daisy didn't and I can't explain why. Maybe I was just flirting with madness the way I flirted with my teachers and classmates.
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This is a true story, about an 18 year old girl who was brought to stay at a mental institution that is known for being home for many mentally ill stars, such as: Ray Charles and Sylvia Plath. In this book Kaysen describes what life was like there as well as introducing unique characters that manage to warm your heart.
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