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Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
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Girl, Interrupted (original 1993; edition 1994)

by Susanna Kaysen

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5,11389873 (3.6)95
Member:melyse
Title:Girl, Interrupted
Authors:Susanna Kaysen
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Tags:Depression, Insanity, Etc.

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Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (1993)

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Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
I was just simply not impressed. What was her point? She bitches about being "committed" in one breath and then thanks God in the next that she has been. She committed herself. She could have walked out at any time so if she could have walked out at any time, so if she was so normal, why didn't she? And later she describes self-mutilating behavior and seems to insist that it was no big deal. I found the author to still be struggling with some serious demons. This book did not help to exorcise them because it was purely self-delusional. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 19, 2014 |
This book had an intricate description of an insane asylum which made it interesting. I enjoy reading about the complex society that functions in these institutes and Kaysen delivered. Susanna's mental illness changed her, but so did the asylum. Would read again. ( )
  Rosenstern | Sep 14, 2014 |
Did I love this book because I was in a particular bad mood that day or because it is indeed good? I guess I'll never know, but this book most definitely gives you something to think about. Don't you just love when something makes you think? At times I finished paragraphs and had to stop to try and understand. And then I'd keep on reading and stop to try to understand it better. This hit close to home. ( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
Did I love this book because I was in a particular bad mood that day or because it is indeed good? I guess I'll never know, but this book most definitely gives you something to think about. Don't you just love when something makes you think? At times I finished paragraphs and had to stop to try and understand. And then I'd keep on reading and stop to try to understand it better. This hit close to home. ( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
The title of this book is taken from a Vermeer painting, Girl Interrupted At Her Music, which forms the last chapter to Kaysen's reflections on her time in a treatment center for mental illness. She had voluntarily admitted herself there for depression.The time she was in treatment was in the late 60's but she wrote the book in 1993. Most of the book is in the present tense but other chapters are in the past tense as Kaysen tries to understand what she was going through earlier on. She tries to use humor to describe her feeling of emotional detachment but this only serves to illustrate that she is still not completely free from the illness. Using humor to illustrate mental illness is never a positive sign of mental health generally. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a work of fiction by someone who worked, for a time, in a mental institution in a non-clinical capacity. I would not recommend this book to high school students, due to the way Kaysen herself describes her illness. Kaysen includes some of her own redacted chart notes where people had given their own observations in addition to her own point of view in the chapter. She notes in passing that Ray Charles and James Taylor were also at the same clinic for treatment. I'm glad to have read the book although it made me feel very uncomfortable since I could tell that it would be some time before she became functionally independent (2 years in total for the healing process to take hold). Kaysen in the considers herself Jewish and atheist in the book. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Aug 14, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679746048, Paperback)

When reality got "too dense" for 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen, she was hospitalized. It was 1967, and reality was too dense for many people. But few who are labeled mad and locked up for refusing to stick to an agreed-upon reality possess Kaysen's lucidity in sorting out a maelstrom of contrary perceptions. Her observations about hospital life are deftly rendered; often darkly funny. Her clarity about the complex province of brain and mind, of neuro-chemical activity and something more, make this book of brief essays an exquisite challenge to conventional thinking about what is normal and what is deviant.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:40 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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 document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.… (more)

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