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Anthology of a Crazy LadyReview - Anthology of a Crazy Lady
A creative cure through writing and art
by Susan L. Heisler
Victoria Publishing, 2000
Review by Margo McPhillips
Mar 3rd 2000 (Volume 4, Issue 9)

This book is a good idea; the author's story of how she overcame her mental illness through writing and drawing about it and thinking through the meanings of her art. Its title comes from when she used to party in college and got the nickname "Crazy Lady".

As good an idea as this book is for the author and others to do as she did, I didn't feel it was as useful to the reader. I think the author did not see the difference between telling her own story to help herself and telling her story in a way that would be useful for a reader. Talking to one's self and immediate intimates is vastly different from relaying to reader others what one's self says; one action is "parallel play" and the other, relationship. I didn't feel that a relationship was established with the reader through this book.

The book chronicles what the author's life was like, how she related to her therapist, husband, family, and God and how these others related to her and what she thought and did about it all. The book often had a preachy feel to it; the author would tell you what others felt and defend her thoughts and actions in relation to the others. No where was the reader's thoughts or interests addressed.

In addition, the main story is side barred with other stories and drawings. I found this very distracting as the other stories were often unrelated to the main story at that location and the side stories would occasionally go on for several page margins, requiring the reader to read forward in the margin several pages and then come back and try to restart the main story reading where they'd left off. Many of the side drawings and story design were reminiscent to me of the popular artist/author SARK, but unlike SARK's designs which are her story, Crazy Lady's designs distracted from the plainness and story of the main text and were merely hard to read.

I was interested and glad for the author to see that such a book had been written but I feel that was all I was allowed to be interested in. This book is written for the author and her purposes, not the reader's.

To discuss this book or the review you have just read, join the Metapsychology Discussion E-Mail Group by going to this URL: http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/metapsy-discussion

 

You can contact the author, Susan L. Heisler, at sheisler@erols.com

Or get the book from the publisher

Victoria Publishing
16 Hillstream Road
Newark, DE 19711
(302) 239-7121


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