You're not in Kansas anymore…

Rescuing Patty Hearst

Nineteen seventy-four was a bad time to go crazy.

Not long ago I read Rescuing Patty Hearst (2004), an interesting memoir written by Virginia Holman (1967 – ) about growing up with a schizophrenic mother in the seventies.

“In 1975, one year after Patty Hearst and her captors robbed Hibernia National Bank, a second kidnapping took place far from the glare of the headlines. Virginia Holman’s mother, in the thrall of psychosis, spirited her two daughters to a cottage on the Virginia Peninsula, painted the windows black, and set up the house as a MASH unit for a secret war. A war that never came. The family — captive to her mother’s schizophrenia and a legal system that refused to intervene — remained there for more than three years.”

Of course, the story Holman tells is absolutely tragic, but due to her sly sarcasm it doesn’t become too painful or tiresome to read. It is quite short, and will probably teach you something about mental illnesses, and since we all know that learning is fun, especially on the weekends, why don’t you get to it?

Enjoy your reading,

Love, Hanna


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