Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

69%

8 Critic Reviews

While the vignettes drawn from her two years in a posh psychiatric hospital are witty and often powerful, their concern with surface detail conveys little sense of Kaysen as the suicidal 18-year-old who was admitted.
-Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis

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 in the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.

Kaysen's memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a "parallel universe" set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Susanna Kaysen

See more books from this Author
Susanna Kaysen is also the author of Girl, Interrupted and Asa, As I Knew Him. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
 
Published June 19, 2013 by Vintage. 192 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Professional & Technical, Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Girl, Interrupted
All: 8 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Above average

We believe her. Every word counts in this brave, funny, moving reconstruction. For Kaysen, writing well has been the best revenge.

Read Full Review of Girl, Interrupted | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average

In this series of tightly focused glimpses into this institutionalized world, she writes with a disarming and highly credible suspension of judgment about herself, other patients, the staff and the rules...that governed their interactions.

Read Full Review of Girl, Interrupted | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

Above average
on Jun 18 1993

While the vignettes drawn from her two years in a posh psychiatric hospital are witty and often powerful, their concern with surface detail conveys little sense of Kaysen as the suicidal 18-year-old who was admitted.

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Suite 101

Above average

In the memoir, Girl, Interrupted, Kaysen divides the material chronologically, with frequent references to related incidents that happened earlier in her life. She describes the day of her hospital admission in 1967 to her release in 1969.

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The Bookbag

Above average
on Nov 23 2012

Girl, Interrupted wasn’t written for anyone but Kaysen herself...they were written for nobody’s benefit but her own. I hope writing Girl, Interrupted was very therapeutic for her, because reading it did absolutely nothing for me.

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Curious Book Fans

Good
on Mar 14 2010

Overall I would recommend Girl, Interrupted. Although disturbing at times this is an eloquent and very personal memoir that is well worth reading.

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AnnArbor.com

Good
on Jun 14 2010

I must declare that the book is mesmerizing and highly enjoyable. While the film quite accurately portrays the book, the literary version offers even deeper insights into the borderline between sanity and the lack thereof.

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Lancaster Online

Above average
on May 22 2009

"Girl, Interrupted" makes you think on so many levels, which is what a good book should do. It makes you question the world around you, while you get to dive into this new world filled with types of people you've never heard of before.

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Reader Rating for Girl, Interrupted
77%

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