The Outward Room

By Millen Brand; Peter Cameron (Afterword by); Peter Cameron (Introduction by)
(New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590173596, 304pp.)

Publication Date: October 19, 2010

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Description

The Outward Room is a book about a young woman’s journey from madness to self-discovery. It created a sensation when it was first published in 1937, and has lost none of its immediacy or its power to move the reader.
 
Having suffered a nervous breakdown after her brother’s death in a car accident, Harriet Demuth is committed to a mental hospital, but her doctor’s Freudian nostrums do little to make her well. Convinced that she and she alone can refashion her life, Harriet makes a daring escape from the hospital—hopping a train by night and riding the rails into the vastness of New York City in the light of the rising sun. It is the middle of the Great Depression, and at first Harriet is lost among the city’s anonymous multitudes. She pawns her jewelry and lives an increasingly hand-to-mouth existence until she meets John, a machine-shop worker. Slowly Harriet begins to recover her sense of self; slowly she and John begin to fall in love. The story of that emerging love, told with the lyricism of Virginia Woolf and the realism of Theodore Dreiser, is the heart of Millen Brand’s remarkable book.




About the Author


Peter Cameron (b. 1959) is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Born in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, he moved to New York City after graduating college in 1982. Cameron began publishing stories in the" New Yorker" one year later. His numerous award-winning stories for that magazine led to the publication of his first book, "One Way or Another "(1986), which received a special citation for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a First Book of Fiction. He has since focused on writing novels, including "Leap Year "(1990) and "The City of Your Final Destination "(2002), which was a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. Cameron lives in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.


Peter Cameron (b. 1959) is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Born in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, he moved to New York City after graduating college in 1982. Cameron began publishing stories in the" New Yorker" one year later. His numerous award-winning stories for that magazine led to the publication of his first book, "One Way or Another "(1986), which received a special citation for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a First Book of Fiction. He has since focused on writing novels, including "Leap Year "(1990) and "The City of Your Final Destination "(2002), which was a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. Cameron lives in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.
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