The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays
ISBN: 1555978274
EAN13: 9781555978273
Language: English
Release Date: Feb 5, 2019
Pages: 224
Dimensions: 1" H x 8.25" L x 5.5" W
Weight: 0.6613868 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Powerful, affecting essays on mental illness, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and a Whiting Award

An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esm Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the collected schizophrenias but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community's own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang's analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

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Book Reviews (7)

  |   7  reviews
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   Dull Writing
I suffer from the same condition as the author, so I was hoping for some promising insights. The survivor movement is trying to free itself from the accepted notions of establishment psychiatry, but this book was just a dull report of that. There is nothing hopeful, nothing original, and nothing inspiring in this book. The author is in a haze of intoxication, and the writing reflects that. It was detached, flat, unemotional, and uninspired. I don't like this book.
   Intelligent and Beautiful
I almost never write book reviews, but I felt compelled to share after I devoured these essays on Sunday. Wang writes about her difficult but hopeful journey. I don't recommend this book very much.
   Inside the Mind?
I didn't like reading these essays. I found that many lacked focus in ways I would have liked, and I did not find them insightful. I wonder if the lack of focus is a sign of a different mind at work.
   A must read
It was written very well and full of important viewpoints. It's an important addition to the literature of mental illness. Wang wrestles with complex questions and issues, but doesn't give easy answers, and opens up ideas for the reader to engage with as well. The schizophrenias are difficult to understand. I had a lot of wrong ideas and inaccurate views, even though I read a lot and learn a lot. The book changed my thinking. Wang writes well. I was sad when I finished it, but I wanted to read more from her. Everyone should read this.
A beautiful book. Esme Wang's writing is wonderful. The subject is historically fraught and the author makes so much beauty from it.
Esmé Weijun Wang has a novel called THE COLLECTED SCHIZOPHRENIAS ESSAYS. It's wide. Chances are, you don't know what schizophrenia is. I read her book and have a better understanding. For the language that she teaches you, but also a more compassionate and less fearful grasp of what it means for those who live with the stigma associated with this diagnosis.
   Worth the read
I have not read any recent collection of essays like these. It's a story that pulls you out of yourself and into another world. The idea that we all live in a carefully ordered world, and how easily those orders break down if we stop trusting in them, was something I had never thought of before. I was looking forward to reading this book again before I finished it. Thank you for your kind words. I can't wait for what you write next, this is a triumph, and I can't wait for it.