Powerful, affecting essays on mental illness, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and a Whiting Award
The Collected Schizophrenias
- “Penetrating and revelatory.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.
Esmé Weijun Wang reading at Kadist
Kadist in San Francisco, CAview map
In conversation with Corrine Fitzpatrick. Co-organized with Triple Canopy. Bar opens at 6:00 PM, program begins at 7:00 PM.
- “A brilliant guide to the complexities of thinking about illness, and mental illness in particular. It will bring hope to others searching to understand their own diagnoses.” —Meghan O’Rourke
- “A masterful braiding of the achingly personal and the incisively researched. . . . This book is a vital, illuminating window onto the world we all already live in, but find all too easy to ignore.”—Alexandra Kleeman
- “You won’t find any pity-baiting, sensationalism, or false positivity here; Wang is so candidly aware that I’d trust her over my own diary.”—Tony Tulathimutte
- “Esmé Weijun Wang offers us an all-access pass to her beautiful, unquiet mind. . . . Rarely has a book about living with mental illness felt so immediate, raw, and powerful.”—Dani Shapiro