Shutter of Snow (Virago Modern Classics)

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9780140161441: Shutter of Snow (Virago Modern Classics)

In a prose form as startling as its content, ?"The Shutter of Snow"?portrays the post-partum psychosis of Marthe Gail, who after giving birth to her son, is committed to an insane asylum. Believing herself to be God, she maneuvers through an institutional world that is both sad and terrifying, echoing the worlds of?"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"?and?"The Snake Pit."

Based upon the author's own experience after the birth of her son in 1924, "The Shutter of Snow" retains all the energy it had when first published in 1930.

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Review:

Emily Holmes Coleman's The Shutter of Snow presents a close study of what it was like to be treated in a 19th-century mental hospital. The innovative language and viewpoint follow the thoughts and actions of Marthe Gail, institutionalized for depression after the birth of her son. Coleman draws a brilliant picture of Gail's mind and its passage through the fog of her illness; portraits of other patients and the caretakers who attend them are equally striking. Unlike Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wall-Paper, in this startling story Marthe's husband offers loving support while she sorts through her delusions of being God and her violent behavior.

Review:

"Coleman's lyrical rendering of her... treatment for post-partum psychosis... fresh and immediate and, at the same time, historically revealing." -- Publishers Weekly



"An extraordinary, visionary book, written out of those edges where madness and poetry meet." -- Fay Weldon



"The book is no less graphic than it is authentic, an extremely rare achievement in the 'firsthand' document school of letters, for usually we have drama at the expense of truth, or bald facts that unwittingly falsify the picture. The Shutter of Snow is a profoundly moving book, supplying as it does a glimpse of what a temporary derangement and its consequences may mean to the sufferer." -- The Nation

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Coleman, Emily Holmes
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