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Girl, Interrupted (1993)

by Susanna Kaysen

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6,7451081,113 (3.64)129
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 (106)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (108)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
Interesting; written like a journal with chapters describing specific incidents. ( )
  nankan | Jan 27, 2022 |
4.5 stars

This was such a fast read for me. MIND YOU i’m a really slow reader and the book is quite short BUT IT WAS JUST SO CAPTIVATING. I think it was just really refreshing to read someone be so vulnerable about their feelings, about what they know and don’t know, and about their difficult past. I loved how this was structured and how she didn’t explain you the order of events or specifics on everything, she doesn’t owe it to me, but I still understood how this place worked and how her life worked (well the picture she painted of these things). There was a clear voice in this memoir and it wasn’t apologetic. It was brave and daring and ready and so on voice that it was moving to read. Writing something like this could not be easy. Being honest is not easy! But she did that, and i’m grateful to her for letting people read this :,). ( )
  AldaLyons | Nov 13, 2021 |
Lately, I've been fascinated with real-life stories on suicide and mental illness. Like The Bell Jar, this memoir is hilarious and thought-provoking. I love quoting many parts of this book to describe my perspective.
My favorite chapter is Keepers, where the author talks about helping the interns become better versions of themselves.
( )
  DzejnCrvena | Apr 2, 2021 |
This is one of the two books I've read that I can honestly say the movie was better than the book. ( )
  Teri_O | Nov 11, 2020 |
thinking of doing a booktalk for class on this....i liked the movie when i was a teen.

***

i actually like the book better than the movie; I think the pacing and breaks in the story (including the medical records) make more sense in the context of sanity/insanity than the linear movie does. i also enjoyed sk's more than somewhat critical descriptions of my sister's high school. ha! ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (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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