Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

GENRE: Memoir | PAGES: 168

My rating: ★★★★

With the exception of the last three entries, Susanna Kaysen’s short essays of her time spent on a psychiatric ward run in no particular order. Like her state of mind at the time she was admitted, Girl, Interrupted is a book whose content is a little chaotic and random at times and flits back and forth in time. Yet it tells us, more than adequately and without frills, of the two years she spent at McLean.

Her ideas certainly entertain; some notions I daresay linger long after finishing, and ultimately we get a glimpse into the fascinating world that we, as humans, feign detachment from.

My thoughts on this book may be biased given that I’m a sucker for literature riddled with self-examination and the problems and/or triumphs that arise from it, yet having said that, I’m certain this book would appeal to any reader wanting to delve into the mind of another.

Kaysen has, through Girl, Interrupted opened her mind and welcomed us in, wearing her ‘tainted’ sign whilst proving otherwise.

 

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  Girl, Interrupted

 

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.