How do you write your life story when readers expect you not to make sense? How do you write a case history that makes sense when, face to face with schizophrenia, your ability to tell a diagnostic story begins to fall apart? This book examines work in several genres of life writing-autobiography, memoir, case history, autobiographical fiction-focused either on what it means to live with schizophrenia or what it means to understand and `treat' people who have received that diagnosis. Challenging the romanticized connection between literature and madness, Life Writing and Schizophrenia explores how writers who hear voices and experience delusions write their identities into narrative, despite popular and medical representations of schizophrenia as chaos, violence, and incoherence. The study juxtaposes these narratives to case histories by clinicians writing their encounters with those diagnosed with schizophrenia, encounters that call their own narrative authority and coherence into question.
Mary Wood is the author of The Writing on the Wall: Women's Autobiography and the Asylum (University of Illinois Press, 1994) and has published articles on autobiography, case history, literature and psychiatry, and narrative ethics in Narrative, British Journal of Medical Ethics, Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, and American Literary Realism. She teaches in the English Department at the University of Oregon.
Acknowledgements Introduction `Time Turned Solid, Like a Wall': Four Mental Hospital Memoirs `Will They Hear and Be Convinced by my Story?' First Person Accounts from Schizophrenia Bulletin `A Striking Similarity with our Theory': Freud and Bateson Read Memoirs of Schizophrenia `The Speech Which Arranges the Dance': The Undoing of Schizophrenia in Janet Frame's Autobiography and Fiction Diagnostic Narrative in the DSM-IV Casebook `That Damn Schizophrenia': Evolving Identity in Eunice Wood's Unwritten Story Bibliography Index