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The Centre Cannot Hold: A Memoir of My Schizophrenia

Elyn R. Saks

4 Reviews

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

Highly articulate and self-aware, Elyn Saks offers a moving insight into the world of a schizophrenic. This compelling account will bring hope to sufferers and understanding to all.

Elyn Saks is Professor of Law and Psychiatry at University of Southern California Law School. She's the author of several books. Happily married. And - a schizophrenic. Saks lifts the veil on schizophrenia with her startling and honest account of how she learned to live with this debilitating disease. With a coolly clear, measured tone she talks about her condition, the stigma attached and the deadening effects of medication. Her controlled narrative is disrupted by interjections from the part of her mind she has learned to suppress. Delusions, hallucinations and threatening voices cut into her reality and Saks, in a remarkably vivid way, enables us to hear and see them too. This is a powerful book that is as informative as it is moving. There are parallels with Jane Lapotaire's TIME OUT OF MIND and with GIRL, INTERRUPTED.

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Praise for The Centre Cannot Hold: A Memoir of My Schizophrenia

  • This is a remarkable narrative of a lived life. Written from the interior of the mental health field, as well as from many years at its periphery, it documents an extraordinary experience of continuous rites of passage, managed against a background of severe mind-brain pathology, while retaining the capacity to observe and influence it. Posing as many questions as it answers, this unique life history is as profoundly provocative as it is satisfying. A page-turner, it is to be read and savored. - Leo Rangell, Honorary President, The International Psychoanalytic Association - "Schizophrenia is an ominous word--and we too often equate it with a life of misery, isolation and psychotic torment. I know of no better corrective t

  • Elyn Saks describes with precision and passion the tribulations of living with schizophrenia, and conjures in explicit detail a world that has gone unseen for far too long. In narrating her own capacity for success in the face of the illness, she holds - Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon

  • Elyn Saks has written an extraordinary, gripping account of her struggle with mental illness and the life-line she found with therapists who listened to her, trusted her, and earned her trust. In her accomplishment, she refutes fearful prejudices and demonstrates the respect deserved by all people with serious mental illness. - Robert A. Burt, Professor of LAW, Yale LAW School

  • This is a remarkable narrative of a lived life. Written from the interior of the mental health field, as well as from many years at its periphery, it documents an extraordinary experience of continuous rites of passage, managed against a background of se - Leo Rangell, Honorary President, The INTERNATIONAL Psychoanalytic Association

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