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Agnes’s Jacket

December 31, 2010

Seamstress Agnes Richter was locked away in a mental asylum in the 1890s, and was so determined to have a voice that she embroidered her personal story onto the jacket she wore on the ward. What is the hidden history of people writing their own narratives of going insane? How important is it to listen to the experiences of “mentally ill” people? Is there meaning in madness? Gail Hornstein, Mt. Holyoke College professor and author of Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness, discusses the work of the Hearing Voices Movement in the UK, peer run support communities including Freedom Center in the US, and why professionals should let patients speak for themselves.

Madness Radio(.net) gives this description for yet another great interview with the author of an interesting book. Listen to it here. Will Hall doesn’t just interview authors, though.Β  He’s done shows with mental health professionals, regular people involved in advocacy, as well as many who have recovered. The programs are all stand-alone, so you can browse until you find a topic that particularly interests you and start there if you’d like.

I love bizarre bits of history and I’m obsessed with psychology, so this is right up my alley. I ordered this book with my Christmas money. πŸ˜€ I’ll write up a review when I’m finished, but I’m also notorious for taking a long time reading non-fiction, so don’t hold your breath.

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One comment

  1. […] book is fantastic. I posted about it when I bought it right after christmas. Click here to see the […]



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