Powerful, affecting essays on mental illness, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and a Whiting AwardAn 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 co...
|Title||:||The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays|
|Number of Pages||:||224 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays Reviews
The Collected Schizophrenias is a brilliantly written collection of essays about what it's like to live with a schizoaffective disorder. Schizophrenia is easily the most misunderstood mental health condition, and while no one experience can be taken as the one example of how that illness impacts everyone who has it, Esmé Weijun Wang does much to demystify what it is like to live with this disorder. Her writing is very candid and feels like it comes from a deeply personal place. It really opened ...more
one thing that has stuck with me throughout my experience reading this book is a small detail: this is labeled as a collection of essays, but, as far as the form of "a book of essays" goes, it surpasses the classification by a milestone. because while yes, the chapters do assume the form, it acts more as a personal narrative. it can be classified as investigative, but i creep away from this even, because every detail that would make it so — from her interviews to her perfuse use of medical langu ...more
Stunning. TCS is the most moving account of living with mental illness that I have read to date, and I think that's because it's not trying to convince anyone of anything. Wang wrote essays about her condition and journey, and within these essays, she constantly admits that she is writing about herself and no one else. Her accounts of struggles are hers and not representative of a group of others afflicted with schizoaffective disorder, and even within her writing about chronic Lymes she never s ...more
The essays are written and put together in a way that you can read them separately but taken together they read like chapters in a memoir following a grander narrative arc. Esmé Weijun Wang writes about her coping mechanism, the myth of 'high-functioning', the ways the medical system treats people it deems 'mentally ill', but also questions like what is the 'self' and how physical and mental health are interlinked. She describes the different ways she experiences her mind/ the world and also del ...more
“Schizophrenia terrifies,” warns the first line of The Collected Schizophrenias. Then, despite this caution, it proceeds. Such conviction quickly becomes a pattern over the course of the collection: See the difficult thing. Face it anyway.
With profound compassion and curiosity, Esmé Weijun Wang displays her uncanny ability to write in multiple dimensions, using research, memoir, and pop culture to gather the pieces of a conversation that often feels—at least to me—like a fragile, elusive one. L ...more
I mean, this is brilliant. In its style and breadth of conversation, in Wang's ability to speak of, about, and through herself, in the ways in which, for me, at least, has completely reshaped the ways I think of the schizophrenias. "Diagnosis" in particular will be an essay I know I will return to, and one I wish I had read when I first started seeking treatment for mental illness.
HOWEVER, I hate that she describes children with a PDD diagnosis as "low functioning" and "high functioning" in "Th ...more
Review to come
*Goodreads apparently didn't save my review the first time, so here goes it…
If it takes me longer than four days to finish a book of this size, it's because I'm just not into it.
I wanted to binge on this book, I truly did, but my biggest grudge with TCS is that it is a book predicated more on reports and research than anecdotes. With a disorder as obscure as schizophrenia, along with the myriad of other important mental illnesses mentioned, any reader not privy to these disorders is going to nee ...more