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Strangers to Ourselves

Unsettled Minds and the Stories that Make Us

«In this penetrating, landmark book, Rachel Aviv investigates what she calls the 'psychic hinterlands,' drawing on her customary vivid reporting and her own extraordinary personal story to pose unsettling questions about the ways in which we reckon with mental illness ... Aviv has created an arresting work of profound empathy and insight

This is a brilliant young prize-winning American journalist, a staff writer for the New Yorker, asking important and subversive questions about the evolution, application and development of psychiatry. Les mer

160,-
Paperback
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This is a brilliant young prize-winning American journalist, a staff writer for the New Yorker, asking important and subversive questions about the evolution, application and development of psychiatry.

We place a great deal of trust in the medical system. But does a mental health diagnosis have the power to perpetuate, or even create, symptoms as its subject adapts to live within it? Is there another way of talking about their experience? And are patients being truly heard?

In an attempt to answer these questions, Aviv has chosen four subjects who have the capacity to interrogate the theories and explanations they have been given for their own mental states-subjects who at some stage fundamentally reject psychiatry's explanatory framework, and see their own suffering through another lens-spirituality, loneliness, legitimate existential despair.

Aviv believes that it is a writer's job to listen and imagine and so tell the stories that other disciplines may be missing. Alongside her subjects' stories she will write about the evolution of psychiatry, with particularly interesting and troubling reference to its imposition through colonial history. The deep universal question at the heart of all of her work is, what does it mean to be human? How far can we go to the edge of experience and emotion and still remain sane? And what happens to us-socially, culturally, medically, psychologically--when we step into the liminal spaces outside of 'ordinary life'?

Detaljer

Forlag
Vintage
Innbinding
Paperback
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
288
ISBN
9781529111651
Utgivelsesår
2024
Format
19 x 13 cm

Anmeldelser

«In this penetrating, landmark book, Rachel Aviv investigates what she calls the 'psychic hinterlands,' drawing on her customary vivid reporting and her own extraordinary personal story to pose unsettling questions about the ways in which we reckon with mental illness ... Aviv has created an arresting work of profound empathy and insight

«Aviv writes with an unpredictable mixture of intimacy and distance, exploring how psychiatric language often alters what it names ... I admire her rigor and eloquence but also her restraint - she makes vivid experiences we can't explain.»

Ben Lerner, author of THE TOPEKA SCHOOL

«Master prose stylist Rachel Aviv quietly explodes our neat narratives as she rescues the meanings of lives formed in extremity, including her own. Breaking away from labels that have the power to create the futures they foretell, her case histories are kaleidoscopic, filled with sudden radiance and uncomfortable discontinuities ... Brilliant.»

George Makari, MD, author of OF FEAR AND STRANGERS: A History of Xenophobia, director of the DeWitt

«I was blown away...a radically human book that lead me not to answers, but to better questions, about the infinite contingencies of mental "health"»

Observer, *Christmas Gift Guide 2022*

«Strangers to Ourselves was revelatory to me in its empathetic, sprawling unraveling of how mental illness forms our identities... It's the best kind of reported nonfiction, an entire book that feels like the best New Yorker piece you've ever read»

White Review, *Books of the Year*

«Aviv is a skilled writer... The people at the centre of the book come alive through her prose»

Times Literary Supplement

«This is a really affecting book, and one that anyone with even the faintest interest in mental health should read... meticulous, moving portraits of people, from all walks of life»

Dazed Digital

«Captures with subtlety and empathy the honest reality of mental illness... a human chronicle that is intimate and unpredictable... Instead of demonizing disorders of the mind, Aviv seeks to understand their causes.»

The Times

«An incredibly researched, empathetic, and moving book.»

Lit Hub

«Combines the poise of Janet Malcolm and the confessional bravery of Joan Didion ... Through half a dozen vivid case studies - one being the story of her own hospitalization at age six - Aviv unravels medical diagnoses and demonstrates how societal narratives around illness take hold. The result is fascinating and empathetic.»

Vogue

«Aviv applies her signature conscientiousness and probing intellect to every section of this eye-opening book ... A moving, meticulously researched, elegantly constructed work of nonfiction

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

«In writing against the limits of psychiatric narratives, into the space where language has failed, Aviv paradoxically finds language for the most ineffable registers of human experience

Wall Street Journal

«Writing with uncanny empathy and integrity ... Strangers to Ourselves is a work of landmark reporting that is truly heartbreaking and astonishing.»

Cathy Park Hong, author of MINOR FEELINGS: An Asian American Reckoning

«A groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting exploration of the relationship between diagnosis and identity. This is the kind of book that can make your life flash before your eyes, glittering with new insights and a sense of unguessed possibilities

Elif Batuman, author of EITHER/OR and THE IDIOT

«Relentlessly faithful to complexity, absolutely unsettling in all the best and most important ways ... Aviv explores her subjects not as diagnoses but as fully dimensional characters.»

Leslie Jamison, author of MAKE IT SCREAM, MAKE IT BURN

«A subtle and penetrating investigation into how mental illness is diagnosed ... Aviv is an instinctive storyteller... meticulous, empathic, tirelessly inquisitive.»

Hephzibah Anderson, Observer

«So attuned to subtlety and complexity... a book-length demonstration of Aviv's extraordinary ability to hold space for the "uncertainty, mysteries and doubt" of others.»

New York Times Book Review

«Profoundly intelligent ... superbly written portraits ... [A] remarkable book.»

Guardian

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