Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted

Book - 1993
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More than a story of young women and maddness, Girl, Interrupted is a brilliant evocation of a "paralled universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting Landscape of the late sixties. It is a clear-sighted, unflinching historical dicument that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of metal illness and recovery.
Publisher: New York : Turtle Bay Books, 1993.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780679423669
Branch Call Number: 616.89/KAYS
Characteristics: 168 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.


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Oct 24, 2020

Dark humor around a painful memory of adolescent mental illness, the author’ s experience at an upscale 60s psychiatric hospital opens a window to being insane and viewed by others as being crazy.

I recently re read this book. I did a fiction book report on it when I was in middle school even though it is a memoir. I personally really loved it. I really emphasize with her - being someone who is sensitive and has a mood disorder and a female is challenging. The world of mental health is confusing and strange and dealing with white male doctors who don't have a clue. Beautiful and important read.

Nov 26, 2019

This book could have been double in thickness if Susanna talked more about her borderline symptoms/thoughts, more about the other characters, and what each character meant to her. I really wanted to relate to Susanna as I have borderline personality disorder too, but there wasn't much material in there to relate to. I don't regret reading it, just regret what wasn't written and could have been! I love the movie though.

Mar 26, 2018

It's a non linear narration that takes us through the thoughts of a girl who was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Along with developing empathy to people with mental disorders, reading this enables us to see (disturbingly in every way), that we too lack a mastery over our minds (Our ego of course claims otherwise) and that being "insane" is not so well defined as we might like to believe. It's amazing that the author could grow so much in her life!

I'm giving it only 3/5 because the narration didn't really get to me because of it's non-linearity.

Apr 30, 2017

Girl, Interrupted is a memoir by Susanna Kaysen focusing on her personal experiences after being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in a psychiatric hospital. The book does not follow a strict storyline rather a collection of stories shes had when in the hospital and the people in it. When in the hospital Susanna meets a girl named Lisa who is a sociopath and periodically escapes and serves as an influence in Kaysen's recovery. She tells her experiences with electroconvulsive therapy and other therapies. I would recommend this book because it presents a real-life experience of mental illness and recovery. @GoosReviews of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Girl, Interrupted is a hauntingly beautiful memoir about Susanna Kaysen’s experience at a psychiatric hospital. After one session with a psychiatrist she had never met before, Susanna Kaysen was sent away to McLean Hospital, specialized to deal with troubled young women, where she meets many characters from Lisa to Daisy. Staying there for a period of 18 months, Susanna reflects on her own mental illness and how to truly define “sanity”. This memoir shows the different ways one goes through mental illness and will change the way you think about it. 4.6 out of 5.
-@freshprinceofbooks of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Girl, Interrupted is a very interesting novel about Susanna Kaysen's own experiences at Mclean Psychiatric Hospital during the 1960’s. Kaysen recounts stories of all of the fascinating people she met in her “parallel universe,” such as other patients like Polly, Daisy, and Lisa. This memoir makes you feel like you are part of her world and helps you understand what she and others around her were going through. This is definitely worth the read and it’s fairly short so it won’t take you a while to finish. I would rate it 4/5 stars.
- @reginaphalange of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Dec 29, 2015

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen is a novel that is famous for its very realistic portrayal of mental illness. This memoir recalls Kaysen’s experiences with mental illness and borderline personality disorder as a teen in Belmont, Massachusetts. It is a collection of anecdotes and reflections of her personal experience in a mental institute and dealing with her condition. During her stay, she meets a number of notable characters such as Lisa the sociopath, Polly the schizophrenic, and Daisy who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. Susanna tells her personal story through her interactions and experiences with the other girls in the institute such as her escape with Lisa and her visit to Daisy’s house. Throughout the book, Susanna also struggles with her own personal breakdowns following her suicide attempt which landed her in the institute. She begins to imagine that sanity is only an idea constructed by society and believes in parallel worlds. Overall, I feel that Girl, Interrupted is a very heavy read that is brutally honest about the world of illness and what it feels like to be in that position rather than looking from a distance. Susanna’s experiences can help those who have never experienced mental illness understand and get an insight into the life of someone who has. They can also serve as comfort for those who have dealt with mental illness and show the world that depression is not something that can just be ignored. I would recommend this book to anyone who has any curiosity about or any relation to the world of mental illness.

Mar 22, 2015

I thought this book was a wonderful insight into Kaysen's time spent in a psychiatric hospital. Too often, psychiatric patients are portrayed as one-dimensional, horror-driven individuals that should be left alone. Kaysen reminds us that any one of us could end up in her shoes, and that's what kept me reading.

Jun 28, 2014

I did not realise that this book was based off of the experiences of the author until I noticed that the author and the main character shared the same first and last name. I believe that would be an indication that this is a very well-written memoir. I loved the quirky characters and truthfulness in the words. I couldn't put this one down.

Apr 08, 2013

I can't believe I'm saying this butt, I enjoyed the movie more... That's not to say I didn't enjoy the book but the movie is definetly juiced up more.. Still nothing beats the story told in first person. If anything I'd say read the book just to have read it. It's an easy read and definetly makes you think. We've all felt crazy at one time or another! :)

Aug 23, 2011

One of my favourite books of all time, along with her other book, "The Camera My Mother Gave Me."

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

I told her once I wasn’t good at anything. She told me survival is a talent.

Jun 28, 2014

I got better and Daisy didn't and I can't explain why. Maybe I was just flirting with madness the way I flirted with my teachers and classmates.

penpencil22 Jun 23, 2011

"Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?"

penpencil22 Jun 23, 2011

"Crazy isn't being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It's you or me amplified."


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Oct 10, 2014

Maggiebutcher thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jun 28, 2014

ErinMWilson thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Jun 28, 2014

This is a true story, about an 18 year old girl who was brought to stay at a mental institution that is known for being home for many mentally ill stars, such as: Ray Charles and Sylvia Plath. In this book Kaysen describes what life was like there as well as introducing unique characters that manage to warm your heart.


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