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Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Girl, Interrupted (original 1993; edition 1994)

by Susanna Kaysen

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5,59297769 (3.6)102
Title:Girl, Interrupted
Authors:Susanna Kaysen
Info:Vintage (1994), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Depression, Insanity, Etc.

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Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (1993)


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Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
The book was kind of a disappointment after having loved the movie for so long. ( )
  BellaStormborn | Aug 1, 2016 |
Quick, easy read. Some disturbing parts, and some frustrating in regards to "professionals" having that kind of control over your life. I was confused about her voluntary status though. If she admitted herself voluntarily, why couldn't she leave? (course, she was only 18, and if it were me, I wouldn't have known either.)

Interesting at the end when she disects BPD... I was thinking the same thing as far as just having those feelings as a teen or in general. NO ONE acts perfectly sane, even those who come off as they do -- they may handle things inappropriately, but it's accepted because it's not considered "crazy". ( )
  GettinBetter | Jun 27, 2016 |

Such an unusual book, but I suppose it was meant to be. Really quick read due to the swift writing style, choppy chapters, and large fonts. It skips around all over the place so nothings a surprise as one chapter you learn something, and then the next chapter it's back in time again. For example, you know from the beginning how long she stays there. Nothing quite detailed in the book so you don't really get to know much about anyone either. Everything's quickly, fleetingly touched upon. When details were given in scenes and situations, it did grow more interesting, but the chapter would be over soon after. It's almost like pieces of thoughts to summarize a collective theme - her mental illness and look at the world, triggered at the end by a painting explanation that shows why the author used the title she did. Unique, artsy, intriguing...BUT not enjoyable to me, seemed to try too hard with parts, sometimes pretentious, distant and dry. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
After attempting suicide, Susanna Kaysen agrees to enter McLean Hospital, a residential psychiatric facility in Massachusetts. She expects to spend a few weeks at the facility but stays there nearly two years. Throughout the two years, Kaysen meets a number of patients who suffer from various psychotic maladies as the result of drug abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, eating disorders, and mental paralysis.
Kaysen describes a parallel universe where the sanity and insanity teeter-totter on any given day. In the end Kaysen wonders if all normal people are a little insane and just convince themselves that they are sane. Girl Interrupted earns it controversial status from the language and graphic scenes and descriptions in the text. This text is useful in a unit of study that explores non-chronological plot and an unreliable narrator. Kaysen could be compared with Emily Grierson in "A Rose for Emily" or with the narrator in Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." I might also pair excerpts of the text's discussion of mental illness versus conformity with a comparisons of Stephen King's "Why We Crave Horror Movies"
  sgemmell | Apr 21, 2016 |
Great book. I felt it gave an accurate portrayal of mental health disorders and treatment of the time period. Loved reading this story as it was moving and stuck with me for a long time after reading. Highly recommended. ( )
  lacey.tucker | Mar 10, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susanna Kaysenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaysen, Susannamain authorall editionsconfirmed
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:15 -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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