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The Eden Express describes from the inside Mark Vonnegut’s experience in the late ’60s and early ’70s—a recent college grad; in love; living communally on a farm, with a famous and doting father, cherished dog, and prized jalopy—and then the nervous breakdowns in all their slow-motion intimacy, the taste of mortality and opportunity for humor they provided, and the grim despair they afforded as well. That he emerged to write this funny and true book and then moved on to find the meaningful life that for a while had seemed beyond reach is what ultimately happens in The Eden Express. But the real story here is that throughout his harrowing experience his sense of humor let him see the humanity of what he was going through, and his gift of language let him describe it in such a moving way that others could begin to imagine both its utter ordinariness as well as the madness we all share.
New Foreword by Kurt Vonnegut Winner of the American Library Association Notable Book Award, in this extraordinary memoir the gifted son of one of the literary grandmasters of the 20th century tells of his nervous breakdown in all its slow-motion intimacy, the taste of mortality and opportunity for humour it provided, and the grim despair it afforded as well. 'One of the best books about going crazy... Required reading' - New York Times 'Not only a memoir about his loss of...innocence, but a surprisingly good-natured trip' - LA Times
“One of the best books about going crazy . . . required reading for those who want to understand insanity from the inside.”—The New York Times Book Review Mark Vonnegut set out in search of Eden with his VW bug, his girlfriend, his dog, and his ideals. But genetic predisposition and “a whole lot of **** going down” made Mark Vonnegut crazy in a culture that told him “mental illness is a myth” and “schizophrenia is a sane response to an insane society.” Here he tells his story with the eyes that see from the inside out: a moving remembrance of an era and a revealing look at mental illness . . . and getting well again.
More than thirty years after the publication of his acclaimed memoir The Eden Express, Mark Vonnegut continues his story in this searingly funny, iconoclastic account of coping with mental illness, finding his calling, and learning that willpower isn’t nearly enough. Here is Mark’s life childhood as the son of a struggling writer, as well as the world after Mark was released from a mental hospital. At the late age of twenty-eight and after nineteen rejections, he is finally accepted to Harvard Medical School, where he gains purpose, a life, and some control over his condition. There are the manic episodes, during which he felt burdened with saving the world, juxtaposed against the real-world responsibilities of running a pediatric practice. Ultimately a tribute to the small, daily, and positive parts of a life interrupted by bipolar disorder, Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So is a wise, unsentimental, and inspiring book that will resonate with generations of readers.
Recovering Sanity is a compassionately written examination of the experience of psychosis and related mental illnesses. By presenting four in-depth profiles of illness and recovery, Dr. Edward Podvoll reveals the brilliance and chaos of the psychotic mind and demonstrates its potential for recovery outside of traditional institutional settings. Dr. Podvoll counters the conventional thinking that the millions of Americans suffering from psychosis can never fully recover. He offers a bold new approach to treatment that involves home care with a specially trained team of practitioners. Using "basic attendance," a treatment technique inspired by the author's study of Buddhist psychology, healthcare professionals can use the tools of compassion and awareness to help patients recover their underlying sanity. Originally published as The Seduction of Madness, this reissue includes new introductory material and two new appendices.
In Medicine, Science, and Merck, the authors trace the careers of a son of Greek immigrants as he mastered three professions and ultimately became the Chief Executive Officer of America's most admired corporation, the multinational, pharmaceutical giant, Merck & Co., Inc. As the authors show, there was hope even for a wise-cracking kid living through the hard times of the 1930s. Education brought out the scholar in Roy Vagelos, who left his family's small restaurant to attend the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia's Medical School, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Kurt Vonnegut, described by Graham Greene as "One of the best living American writers", is equally well known as an essayist and commentator on American society as he is as a novelist. This volume brings together the best of his shorter work - essays, stories, speeches, letters, articles and autobiography.