Title: Girl, Interrupted
Author: Susanna Kaysen
Publisher: Vintage Books
Year Published 1993
First Line: “People ask, How did you get in there?”
“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
. She spent most
of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in psychiatric hospital as
renowned for its famous clientele- Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor,
and Ray Charles- as for its progressive method of treating those who could
afford its sanctuary. McLean
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 last 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.”
Unrated Book Review
I’ve written a book review like this once before, As this book is a memoir of someone’s real story, I shouldn’t be rating their life. At least that’s how I feel about it. This novel deals with a lot of stigma about mental health and the idea of being crazy. I did feel like Susanna Kaysen did a remarkable job of explaining her illness, her journey and finally her stance on mental health. It is said that mental health is something that few recognize as true health from day to day. We use words like crazy, nuts, insane, etc without thinking about how we are affecting those around us. After reading this moving memoir I felt like I understood so much more about mental illness.
THANK YOU SUSANNA KAYSEN FOR FINDING THE STRENGTH TO BE MORE THAN A STEREOTYPE!
♥Moments to Remember♥
“Was everyone seeing this stuff and acting like they weren’t? Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?”
“There were no takers for peppermint, chocolate was a big flavour. For spring they had a new flavour, peach melba. I ordered that.
‘You gonna want nuts on these?’ the new boy asked.
We looked at one another: Should we say it? The nurses held their breath. Outside, the birds were singing.
‘I don’t think we need them,’ said
“If my diagnosis had been bipolar illness, for instance, the reaction to me and this story would be slightly different. That’s a chemical problem, you’d say to yourself, manic depressionLithium, all that I would be blameless, somehow. And what about schizophrenia- that would send a chill up your spine. After all, that’s real insanity.”
♥Final Line: “The girl at her music sits in another sort of light, the fitful, overcast light of life, by which we see ourselves and others only imperfectly, and seldom.”
Thanks for reading,