- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Scribner (January 23, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501134035
- ISBN-13: 978-1501134036
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia Hardcover – January 23, 2018
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"Compelling... A bracing work of art and a loving tribute to a man whose voice, no matter how unpolished, deserves to be heard." (LA Times)
"This book is an act of radical empathy through which the author--and, vicariously, the reader--enters intimately into a life that would otherwise be unintelligible." (Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down)
“To pay great attention and devote steady care to the perspective of another is, in itself, almost miraculous--especially when the Other has been cast as mad and dangerous. Sandra Allen has brought forward her uncle's life, rendering in exquisite detail what his experiences as a stigmatized, struggling man allowed him to see. This is a truly original piece of work. I urge you to read it.” (Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family)
"A breakthrough in meta-biographical writing... [Allen] marries several distinct genres to produce an insight into what it means to be a person with a psychiatric diagnosis...Thrilling... Gorgeous... a watershed in empathetic adaptation of 'outsider' autobiography." (The New Republic)
"A marvel." (Esquire)
"Searing." (O, The Oprah Magazine)
"Enthralling... Being inside [Bob's] head, seeing how life felt and looked to him, is a miraculous thing indeed." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
"Sandra Allen has crafted a fearless narrative about what it is really like to grow up under the weight of mental illness . . . Honest, heartbreaking, and often humorous, this remarkable book offers a window into an experience of mental illness that many people often never get the chance to see through." (Bustle)
"Intriguing... mesmerizing... what a journey it is." (The Rumpus)
"Insightful... Allen offers readers an incredible glimpse into the life of a person battling with schizophrenia." (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Sandra/Sandy Allen is a nonfiction writer based in the Catskills. Their first book, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia, was published by Scribner in 2018. Sandy was previously a BuzzFeed News features editor. Their essays and features stories published by BuzzFeed News, CNN Opinion, and Pop-Up Magazine. They also founded and ran the online-only literary quarterly Wag's Revue. Their work focuses on the past, present, and future of mental healthcare in America and on constructs of normalcy, including psychiatric disability and gender.
Top customer reviews
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There is nothing sugar-coated in the book, nor would you expect it to be. Allen’s honesty about her concerns even writing it, and how those changed once she delved in, help to further understand how she was able to put herself slightly more at ease, perhaps to empathize, and get to know her Uncle Bob through his pages.
If nothing else, the book gives a glimpse into a world in which few will ever know the depth of pain or misunderstanding that most of us will feel in our lifetime, but the necessary tools to find compassion for those who have a different way of processing information.
I have to say, it's rare for a book to redefine what "nonfiction" means, in a way that makes you question the assumptions that went into your previous definition. "A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise" validates the experiences of people who've been diagnosed with mental illnesses. It makes a strong argument for listening to them, by animating the rich interior life that we erase when we ignore them. It makes these things seem obvious, and it transmutes the "guilty" feeling that too often accompanies thinking about or discussing mental health into something more like discovery.
A journey well worth taking, and a true story worth sharing. Highly recommended.