Esmé Weijun Wang

The Collected Schizophrenias

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Powerful, affecting essays on mental illness, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and a Whiting Award
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…
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225 printed pages
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Quotes

    elissadboukhas quotedlast year
    Woodman was always, her friend Giuseppe Gallo said, single-mindedly thinking about photography. Never distracted. “Every moment of Francesca’s life,” he said, “was in preparation for a photograph.” One is more easily prepared with an always-ready model, and what subject is more available for exploration than the self? What better stuff to make art of if one is an ambitious artist, which Woodman undoubtedly was? Why not, as a writer, create essays in which I myself appear?
    elissadboukhas quotedlast year
    Again, from On Photography: “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability.”
    elissadboukhas quotedlast year
    “The painter constructs, the photographer discloses,” says Susan Sontag in On Photography. I

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