Sa's Reviews > Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
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's review
Mar 27, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: psychology-sociology
Read in March, 2008

Kaysen's memoir paints a picture of a girl whose mental health is alternately proven through vivid awareness of the world around her, and disputed by accounts of self-harm and detachment.

It's interesting to note the similar war between those who have read this book. Half of them conclude that she was a confused and directionless young woman whose stint in McLean was the result of an intolerant society and a psychological field still in its kneejerk infancy. They wonder, could that have been me? They come away shocked that such small acts of defiance by an obviously lucid person could have such a disproportionate response.

The remaining readers believe Kaysen, although honest and aware in her storytelling, was truly ill. They also wonder, could that have been me? But it is different from the first group, because they see their own doubts about their mental health, their own oddities and their own struggles reflected in the girls of McLean.

The effect this book will have on you depends on how you define sanity.
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