Schizophrenia Essays

Schizophrenia Essays-56
It’s interesting to be able to explore all these different ways of looking at the world, whether that’s looking at myself and my own experience, or things that I imagined, or my observations of other people’s experiences of the world.

It’s interesting to be able to explore all these different ways of looking at the world, whether that’s looking at myself and my own experience, or things that I imagined, or my observations of other people’s experiences of the world.

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(read an excerpt here) examines schizophrenia from historical, medical, social, and emotional perspectives, and looks at the myriad ways it is misunderstood, including by the psychiatric community and schizophrenics themselves.

This nonfiction project has been acclaimed since long before publication: in 2016 the manuscript-in-progress won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, and in 2018 Wang was awarded a Whiting Award for nonfiction, the committee noting that she “sends out revelatory dispatches from an under-mapped land, shot like arrows in all directions from a taut bow of a mind.” Her prose is precise and lyrical at the same time.

The idea of being someone who took self-portraits was a big part of my life, and influences like Francesca Woodman or Cindy Sherman were big to me when I was a teenager or in my early twenties.

I had a lot of friends who were also visual artists, and also used themselves as subject matter, because you are always there as a model.

Wang was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder eight years after experiencing her first hallucinations. When we spoke on the phone, it was morning in San Francisco.

She recounts those intervening eight years of confusion in the first essay in the book, laying out the changes in the she tells of how the university essentially forced her to leave after two hospitalizations that did little to help her. It was raining very hard there, and she was lying on the bed she has in her office.

I actually had to remind myself, while working on include the visceral details.

For me, in a lot of ways, there’s a lot more emotional truth to writing fiction—as opposed to other kinds of truths.

I think those were some of the challenges of this book—to not only include the cut-and-dried but to capture some of the more nuanced emotions and sensations as well.

INTERVIEWER In the essay L’Appel du Vide” (originally published on Hazlitt in different form), you write about Francesca Woodman and how her friend said that she was always “single-mindedly thinking about photography,” and that every moment of her life “was in preparation for a photograph,” and then you ask yourself, “Why not, as a writer, create essays in which I myself appear?


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