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The Collected Schizophrenias

Essays

Esmé Weijun Wang

Graywolf Press

The Collected Schizophrenias Download image

ISBN10: 1555978274
ISBN13: 9781555978273

Paperback

224 Pages

$16.00

CA$21.00

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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 Esmé 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.

Reviews

Praise for The Collected Schizophrenias

“In Wang’s kaleidoscopic essays, memoir has been shattered into sliding and overlapping pieces . . . The images and insights Wang summons are . . . often dazzling, and well worth the reconstructive work . . . Her multifaceted arguments can be gratifyingly mind-expanding.”The New York Times Book Review

“[An] utterly unique book of essays: a deep, illuminating, and explosively written dive into a life of living with mental illness.”Entertainment Weekly

The Collected Schizophrenias is riveting, honest, and courageously allows for complexities in the reality of what living with illness is like—and we are lucky to have it in the world.”NPR Books

“[The Collected Schizophrenias is] resoundingly intelligent, often unexpectedly funny, questioning, fearless and peerless, as Wang makes for brilliant company on 13 difficult walks through largely uncharted territory.”Los Angeles Times

“Going beyond her personal story, Wang applies her experience as a former lab researcher at Stanford to add an analytical perspective to The Collected Schizophrenias, which gives readers an inside look into the often-misunderstood intricacies of mental health.”Time

“Intimate, urgent, and powerful . . . Wang writes generously about the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life . . . and lends her keen analysis to the big, ethical questions about how we treat those whose experience of the world differs from ours.”BuzzFeed

“In a voice both laboratorial and poetic, Wang examines her own diagnosis, as well as her PTSD and Lyme disease, with a gentleness and frankness that mesmerizes and demystifies.”The Week

“Wang is a brilliant writer . . . This intimate essay collection grapples with her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and all the sorrow and searching that comes with it. Always artful and illuminating, never facile.”Vulture

“Wang’s clear-eyed look into a complicated reality makes this is an essential read for anyone who better wants to understand why we treat each other—and ourselves—so harshly at any display of weakness; it’s a book of compassion and brilliance, an unflinching look at a topic that has long repelled too many of us.”NYLON

“Esmé Weijun Wang’s compelling essays highlight the humanity behind a schizophrenia diagnosis, delivering a necessary read tackling mental illness.”Paste

“Wang is a highly articulate and graceful essayist, and her insights, in both the clinical and general senses, are exceptional.”Los Angeles Review of Books

“Wang writes brilliantly and beautifully about lives lived with mental illness.”—The Millions

“In writing about her experiences, Wang puts a face to the silent suffering of millions of people. Her searing honesty coupled with the strength of her writing make The Collected Schizophrenias a remarkable look into a little-understood part of the human condition.”Chicago Review of Books

“Wang . . . eloquently balances personal narrative and empirical research to offer a powerful series of insights into a woefully misunderstood world.”SF Weekly

The Collected Schizophrenias is illumination and important—not only because it educates and challenges—but because it forces us to consider how much we still have to work to undo historical and systematic damage, to challenge our own broken, misguided partiality towards what it means to be healthy and sane.”The Arkansas International

“[The Collected Schizophrenias] organizes the confusion, terror and complexity of [Wang’s] experience into an imperfectly cohesive, profoundly illuminating whole.”Shelf Awareness

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Esmé Weijun Wang

Esmé Weijun Wang is the author of The Border of Paradise. She received the Whiting Award in 2018 and was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists of 2017. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and lives in San Francisco.