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Girl, Interrupted (1993)

by Susanna Kaysen

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7,6141191,179 (3.64)135
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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English (117)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
I've seen the movie tons of times and thought it was very good. I enjoyed the book a lot, as well. Though I must admit, while I can and have watched the movie many times, I just don't think I'll be able to read the book more than once. ( )
  thatnerd | Mar 2, 2024 |
Author Susanna Kaysen was having a bad day when a psychiatrist she'd never seen before referred her for hospitalization at McLean, the top-tier mental institution of the 1960s. In her memoir Girl, Interrupted, she remembers the almost two years she spent at McLean, along with the colorful characters she met there. This slight book delves into questions of sanity vs. insanity, free expression vs. control, and Thorazine vs. everything else. Was Kaysen mentally ill, or just a sensitive, nonconformist teenager growing up during a tumultuous time? The book leaves the question open. Recommended. ( )
  akblanchard | Oct 18, 2023 |
I couldn't put it down, read it straight through in one night. Absolutely fantastic. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
Very interesting.
  kevindern | Apr 27, 2023 |
It was good to get an inside view of borderline personality disorder and the inside of a psych ward. I liked how short the book was - but at the same time Kaysen just briefly mentions some of her experiences. There was some good reflection at the end of the book too. ( )
  HeartofGold900 | Dec 3, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
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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.

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