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- Publisher: Vintage Books
- Format: Paperback | 168 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 201mm x 15mm | 136g
- Publication date: 18 March 2006
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0679746048
- ISBN 13: 9780679746041
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Illustrations note: 12 ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT
- Sales rank: 13,817
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 It is a clear-sighted, unflinching historical document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of mental illness and recovery.
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Susanna Kaysen is also the author of the novels Asa, As I Knew Him and Far Afield. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
" Poignant, honest and triumphantly funny. . . [a] compelling and heartbreaking story." --Susan Cheever, "The New York Times Book Review" " 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." --Diane Middlebrook, "Washington Post Book World"
In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital 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 documnet that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.