The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness

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Hachette Books, Aug 14, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages
18 Reviews
Elyn R. Saks is an esteemed professor, lawyer, and psychiatrist and is the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Law School, yet she has suffered from schizophrenia for most of her life, and still has ongoing major episodes of the illness. THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD is the eloquent, moving story of Elyn's life, from the first time that she heard voices speaking to her as a young teenager, to attempted suicides in college, through learning to live on her own as an adult in an often terrifying world. Saks discusses frankly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, the voices in her head telling her to kill herself (and to harm others); as well the incredibly difficult obstacles she overcame to become a highly respected professional. This beautifully written memoir is destined to become a classic in its genre.

The title is a line from "The Second Coming," a poem by William Butler Yeats, which is alluded to in the book.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ouroborosangel - LibraryThing

Wow, what an amazing book by an amazing woman. I'm not usually a fan of autobiographies, but this one just blew me away. You will not believe how far this woman goes in life while dealing with the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pollgott - LibraryThing

Elyn Saks is a distinguished law professor at USC, where she holds an endowed chair; she is a published author who has studied psychoanalysis; she is someone with a husband and many dear friends; and ... Read full review


Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight

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About the author (2007)

Elyn R. Saks is a professor at the University of Southern California Law School and the University of California, and Research Clinical Associate at the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She graduated from Oxford as a Marshall Scholar and received her J.D. from Yale Law School. She has published three books and more than two dozen articles, and serves on the board of several mental health foundations. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Will Vinet.

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