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InstaReview: The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang

"Forgiveness, as it turns out, is not a linear prospect. Neither is healing; both flare up and die down."

May is also #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth so we wanted to highlight Esme Wang's series of essays, The Collected Schizophrenias. In this book, Wang combines memoir, psychology, science, and cultural studies to grapple with her own history of schizoaffective disorder - her journey to a diagnosis, its effect on those around her, and her treatment by institutions that were supposed to help her. It’s an unflinching look into living as a 'high-functioning' person with schizophrenia, and in disciplined and impeccable prose Wang raises complicated questions - when and how can a person in crisis exercise autonomy to refuse help? How does privilege affect someone's ability to live with mental illness? - and resists the temptation to find easy answers. Of course, in a book of essays, some hit harder than others, leading us to a 4 star review, but we recommend this book if you are intrigued by a nuanced look into living with mental illness in modern culture.


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