Elyse Walters's Reviews > The Hospital Always Wins: A Memoir

The Hospital Always Wins by Issa Ibrahim
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really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley

"The Hospital Always Wins", is written by an absolutely extraordinary graphic artist.
Issa Ibrahim is also winner of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow & Third Coast 2014
Awards for Best News Documentary NPR's 'The Hospital Always Wins'....( an hour long feature)

This book is a powerful memoir of incarceration, rebellion, sex, drug, death, race, and art.
With peppery-high spirited prose he shares of his home life...and his institution life.
Issa's parents were often using marijuana and he grew up in a chaotic drugcrazed environment.
He developments severe mental illness as a young teenager....which leads to an accidental killing of his mother. He received the insanity plea and was committed to an insane asylum with no release date.

We get the inside story of what a broken Mental health system looks like from the eyes of Issa who spent 20 years of his life in the 'asylum environment'.
There were years when he was punished for sexual sins. There were legal battles for freedom...but my favorite parts of the book was when Issa begins to blossom from the power of his artwork. His art generously gets nurtured by the hospital staff...and it helps Issa with his recovery. It's really beautiful...it's a turning point of something positive within the hospital walls...(replenished my faith in humanity).

Creedmoor Psychiatric Hospital in Queens County, New York, is where Issa spent his years. They have one notable program which allowed Issa to thrive and showcase his work...called "The Living Museum".
The Living Museum is an art Studio dedicated to presenting the art produced by patients at the Creedmoor Center.

Issa's life story was very sad...but his spirit is very inspiring. The guy is a survivor. It was clear to me that he loved his mother deeply. Her death is a deep scar... but my God...he has repented. I had the feeling that even his mother knew it was an accident and forgave him immediately...whereas Issa spent his entire life making peace with himself.

No matter what I or anyone thinks of this story - or of things read about within the hospital walls ... the biggest lasting message - for me- is that it was a horrific mistake that Issa spent 20 years inside an institution. Insane... completely insane!

Bless this talented artist, this man! ...may the rest of his life be fill with love - art - great friendships - and much joy!

Thank You Chicago Review Press, Netgalley, and Issa Ibrahim,
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 29, 2016 – Shelved
March 29, 2016 – Shelved as: netgalley

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Wow, you have been reading some heavy books of late.

message 2: by Kevin (last edited Mar 29, 2016 12:40PM) (new)

Kevin Ansbro Whoah! I need to implement *echo* sound effects. Here we go:


Elyse  Walters I have Laura...Its true!
and Kevin....."true again".....
but have no fear...I'm 'am' coming back from the dark side....
want a preview of books on my reading plate?
"The Moor's Account"....(almost done) -- Its a different 'kind' of heavy from "Imbeciles", "The Vegetarian", and "Lamb", and "The "Hospital Always Wins"

Other books: "The Guest Room"....(finished --LOVED IT keep forgetting to write a review -but damn it was great) --- yes, its a heavy --but I thought it was sooooo good....yet....I hope you understand what I'm saying---its a page turning contemporary family drama story about a family, too. I couldn't pull myself away.

"The Sisters".... CRAZY-CRACKERS .... lol (back to this later)

More fun....
"The Turner House" has been my 'go to' sauna read. Its much better than I thought. Its keeping me great company when I sweat in my hot box.

"The Gene"....This is good -long -and taking work.....I've got more to read. Its non-fiction.

Ready for fun now??
Jane Eyre.... I'm reading it for the first time --and I feel like a kid in a candy store --- I'm really enjoying it!!!!!!!!!

After Jane Eyre -- (I plan to read my copy of Longbourn) >>I've only owned the book for about 3 years now.

I have more -- but I'll story......haha................
getting lighter???????

xoxo I'm on my way to Florida --to the beach--It will be light --(I can use it)

message 4: by Lorna (new)

Lorna Elyse, enjoy the beaches of Florida. It is good for the soul . . .

Elyse  Walters Thanks Lorna

message 6: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Great review and great line-up of books!!
Have fun at the beach :) Soak up some rays for me too please :)

Elyse  Walters Thanks Deanna. :)

message 8: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean Wow - what a story! Thanks for sharing this, Elyse!

Elyse  Walters Thank You Jean... (not sure if anyone will read his book --but I'm glad I did) --- You made my day with your comment...Thanks for taking a moment to notice this book.
very sweet, Jean!
Also--for some reason --hospitals --have been in my space lately--(reading about them). Each different -- but for some reason --they seem to have entered my aura.

message 10: by Christine (new) - added it

Christine Zibas Sounds like a very unusual but worthy read. Great review.

Elyse  Walters Hi Christine... After I read this book --I connected with the author, too, on Facebook. What an inspiring guy --creative --fully participating in life! I'm proud to have read about his life. (not an easy one)

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