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Kaysen, Susanna Girl, Interrupted

ISBN 13: 9780679423669

Girl, Interrupted

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9780679423669: Girl, Interrupted
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Spare vignettes recall the two years that the author spent in the McLean psychiatric hospital and investigate the reality of the hospital world. By the author of Asa, As I Knew Him. 17,500 first printing. $15,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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Review:

Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted is the autobiographical story of the author's time in a psychiatric award in 1967. Sylvia Plath was a patient at the same hospital in the early 1950s so inevitably comparisons have been made between Plath's The Bell Jar and Kaysen's novel--both recounting a young woman's descent into insanity. This, however, is where the similarities end--The Bell Jar is a haunting and lyrical book; Girl, Interrupted is a more hard-edged, documentary-style narrative. It has none of the beauty and poetry of Plath's prose and is more akin to Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation , an up-to-date memoir of a young girl's struggle with depression and drugs. Both these books offer a brutal and stark image of a life of mental illness.

Kaysen's account goes further and questions the standard notions of sanity and insanity. Her plausible voice allows the reader to accept a world where time is distorted, chaos reigns and questions are left unanswered, capturing perfectly the sense of helplessness and frustration felt by these women. The book's gritty realism is also heightened by copies of the author's original medical reports lodged between the chapters.

However, it is her penetrating insights into those around her, from those cared for to the caretakers, that make "Girl, Interrupted" so potent. Lacing her narrative with a hard-edged, sardonic sting, she introduces us to a cast of characters from the outrageous Lisa to the chicken-hoarding Daisy to the Martian's girlfriend:

Daisy was a seasonal event. She came before Thanksgiving and stayed through Christmas every year ... "Would anyone like to share?" the head nurse asked ... "Me! Me! Somebody who was a Martian's girlfriend and also had a little penis of her own, which she was eager to show off, raised a hand; nobody wanted to share with her.
"Girl, Interrupted" is a credible and creditable chronicle of the lives of women in the 1960s who, through the ignorance and narrow-mindedness of society, were contained and monitored for not fitting into the "norm", the mainstream. Nicola Perry

Review:

"Poignant, honest and triumphantly funny. . . a compelling and heartbreaking story." --Susan Cheever, "The New York Times Book Review"
"Tough-minded . . . darkly comic . . . written with indelible clarity."--"Newsweek"
"An account of a disturbed girl's unwilling passage into womanhood...and here is the girl, looking into our faces with urgent eyes."--Diane Middlebrook, "Washington Post Book World"

" Poignant, honest and triumphantly funny. . . [a] compelling and heartbreaking story." --Susan Cheever, "The New York Times Book Review"
" Tough-minded . . . darkly comic . . . written with indelible clarity." --"Newsweek"
" [A]n account of a disturbed girl's unwilling passage into womanhood...and here is the girl, looking into our faces with urgent eyes." --Diane Middlebrook, "Washington Post Book World"

"Poignant, honest and triumphantly funny. . . [a] compelling and heartbreaking story." --Susan Cheever, The New York Times Book Review

"Tough-minded . . . darkly comic . . . written with indelible clarity."--Newsweek

"[A]n account of a disturbed girl's unwilling passage into womanhood...and here is the girl, looking into our faces with urgent eyes."--Diane Middlebrook, Washington Post Book World

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679746041: Girl, Interrupted

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ISBN 10: 0679746048 ISBN 13: 9780679746041
Publisher: Vintage, 2006
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9781860497926: Girl, Interrupted

Virago, 2000
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9780786225958: Girl, Interrupted (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic Series)

Thornd..., 2000
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9780571202119: Girl, Interrupted

Faber ..., 2000
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9780786225972: Girl Interrupted (Thorndike Paperback Bestsellers)

Thornd..., 2001
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