Girl, Interrupted

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 168 pages
65 Reviews
In 1967, after a session with a doctor she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital that was as renowned for its famous clientele - Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles were among its patients - as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its rare sanctuary. In a series of spare, razor-sharp vignettes marked by startling black humor, "Kaysen writes as lucidly about the dark jumble inside her head as she does about the hospital routines, the staff, the patients." (Kirkus Reviews) Through her own experiences (augmented by pages from her medical record) and those of her fellow patients, Kaysen opens up the world of the hospital and questions the social and emotional assumptions that divide people into deviant or normal. More than a story of young women and madness, Girl, Interrupted is a brilliant evocation of a "parallel universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. It is a clear-sighted, unflinching historical document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of mental illness and recovery.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bonniemarjorie - LibraryThing

"The only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy." After a phone call to her boyfriend to advise him of her impending suicide, Susan swallowed 50 aspirin then remembered her mother asking her to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wareagle78 - LibraryThing

A fascinating glimpse into the life of a mental institution's ward of teen-aged girls during the 1960's. The story is true, and chapters are interspersed with pages from the author's intake, therapy, medical, and discharge records. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
5
Section 2
7
Section 3
11
Section 4
15
Section 5
16
Section 6
20
Section 7
25
Section 8
28
Section 21
75
Section 22
79
Section 23
83
Section 24
92
Section 25
94
Section 26
107
Section 27
110
Section 28
116

Section 9
31
Section 10
36
Section 11
39
Section 12
45
Section 13
48
Section 14
52
Section 15
54
Section 16
56
Section 17
58
Section 18
65
Section 19
69
Section 20
71
Section 29
123
Section 30
129
Section 31
134
Section 32
137
Section 33
147
Section 34
150
Section 35
160
Section 36
165
Section 37
171
Section 38
173
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Susanna Kaysen is also the author of the novels Asa, As I Knew Him and Far Afield. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic information