Girl, Interrupted- Susanna Kaysen : 9/52

It makes you wonder.


After having watched the movie a dozen times and having loved it, I finally got my hands on the book. No, though I’m tempted to, I will make no comparisons. Because both aren’t the same.

Everyone goes through a phase, be it at 18 or at 38. Do we really need to give that phase a name and put it into a textbook? That was the question that I kept asking myself long after I closed the book. Were all those cups of medication pumped into her for no reason at all? Is Borderline Personality Disorder actually a disorder? I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to these questions. And that’s what she asks herself throughout the book. Was I really sick? The Brain vs Mind chapter provided some deep insights from a layperson’s point of view, in pretty simple language.

After the much hyped The Bell Jar made no impact on me, I braced myself for another disappointment, since this book too hovered on a similar theme. Sylvia Plath gets a mention in this book, having been an inmate of the same mental hospital earlier. But the simplicity of Girl, Interrupted was stark, rather than bland ( which was what I felt about The Bell Jar)

Short chapters that read like a shuffled diary, no flowery prose.  She was just saying it like it was. What she did, what she felt, whom she met, whom she liked, whom she didn’t.

Small characters like the Other Lisa, Alice Calais and Torrey made an impact, and left me wondering what happened to them. The meeting with Lisa Rowe after her release seemed more cinematic than real, and I was slightly worried about the fate of her child. I sincerely hope he turned out ok.

This is a kind of book that I will pick up again whenever I feel like it and just read random chapters.

PS: I loved the story behind the book’s title. Here is the painting. 



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