by Jo Harding


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Mental illness tends to be a taboo subject. It has not often been described by the one who experiences, but more often as a case history, or as a subject for analysis. Something that happens to someone else. Two people from totally different backgrounds meet in 1949. They experience poverty, homelessness, social change in the 50's and emerge victorious from their struggles. Suddenly the man dies, aged forty-four, leaving his wife with four children, when the youngest was two years old. The woman's journey to wholeness explored the labyrinth of 'madness’, a loss of meaning which was further exacerbated in the setting of psychiatric hospitals. During these episodes she was aware of deeper levels of human history, which emerged unbidden, vividly ‘remembered’, retold as they occurred in the context of the events described. Fantasy?......as always with every fiction, some sharp shards of truth are piercing the web. The poems, placed as illustrations in the text, were written at the time of the experience, when other ways to communicate were blocked. Fifty years ago, when this record begins, there were but few authors writing about the inner worlds of our human experience. In recent decades there has been a magnificent proliferation of such themes. Reading them, the anguish of feeling, unwittingly explored, seems curiously ‘out of date’! Maybe there are others out there who also were caught in a web of misunderstanding their perceptions and felt imperiled; perhaps in revealing her version of ‘doing madness’ others my find some hope and healing, and the opposites become reconciled.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642542295
Publisher: Matchstick Literary
Publication date: 11/22/2018
Pages: 194
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.45(d)

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