Girl, Interrupted (Paperback)
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The ward for teenage girls in the McLean psychiatric hospital was as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary. Kaysen's memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a "parallel universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties.
Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.
SUSANNA KAYSEN has written the novels Asa, As I Knew Him and Far Afield and the memoirs Girl, Interrupted and The Camera My Mother Gave Me. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"In piercing vignettes shadowed with humor [Kaysen] brings to life the routine of the ward and its patients.... Kaysen's meditations on young women and madness form a trenchant counterpoint to the copies of her medical records that are woven into the text." —The New Yorker
"An eloquent and unexpectedly funny memoir." —Vanity Fair
''Memorable and stirring ... fascinating. A powerful examination not only of Kaysen's own imperfections but of those of the system that diagnosed her." —Vogue
"Tough-minded ... darkly comic ... written with indelible clarity." —Newsweek
"[A]n account of a disturbed girl's unwilling passage into womanhood ... and here is the girl, looking into our faces with urgent eyes." —Washington Post Book World
"At turns wry, sardonic, witty ... an unusual glimpse of a young woman's experience with insanity. Kaysen presents a meaningful analysis of the dual and contradictory nature of psychiatric hospital ization as both refuge and prison." —San Francisco Chronicle