Mockingbird Years A Life In And Out Of Therapy
By Emily Fox Gordon
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780465027279, 256pp.)
Publication Date: January 2000
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
"During my years as a patient, I felt a guilty and unshakeable conviction that I was completely sane. Of course, my notion that patients were expected to be crazy was naïve, but I had swallowed whole the ideology that connects madness to beauty of spirit. In fact, I wasn't interested in being happier, but in growing more poignantly, meaningfully unhappy."Here in her own words is Emily Fox Gordon, therapy veteran, sometime mental patient, and prize-winning essayist. In lyric prose as memorable for its wicked humor as for its penetrating intelligence, she tells the story of her "therapeutic education," marked by no fewer than five therapists before she turned seventeen. At eighteen, after a half-hearted suicide attempt, Gordon began a three-year sojourn at the prestigious Austen Riggs sanitarium. It was at Riggs that Gordon was "rescued" by the maverick psychoanalyst Leslie Farber, who offered judgment instead of neutrality, friendship instead of silence, and moral instruction through dialogue. Beautifully crafted and startling in its observations of the therapeutic enterprise, Mockingbird Years is a stunning debut by a major new talent.