Sandra Allen

presents

A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: 
A True Story About Schizophrenia

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
9
Friday
February 9, 2018
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes journalist and editor SANDRA ALLEN for a discussion of her new book, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia. She will be joined in conversation by award-winning psychologist and writer LAUREN SLATER, author of Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century.

Update:

Lauren Slater, originally scheduled to join Sandra Allen in conversation, is unable to join us. She sends her apologies.

About A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise

Dazzlingly, daringly written, marrying the thoughtful originality of Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts with the revelatory power of Neurotribes and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, this propulsive, stunning book illuminates the experience of living with schizophrenia like never before.

Sandra Allen did not know her uncle Bob very well. As a child, she had been told he was “crazy,” that he had spent time in mental hospitals while growing up in Berkeley in the 60s and 70s. But Bob had lived a hermetic life in a remote part of California for longer than she had been alive, and what little she knew of him came from rare family reunions or odd, infrequent phone calls. Then in 2009 Bob mailed her his autobiography. Typewritten in all caps, a stream of error-riddled sentences over sixty, single-spaced pages, the often incomprehensible manuscript proclaimed to be a “true story” about being “labeled a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic,” and arrived with a plea to help him get his story out to the world.

In A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise, Allen translates her uncle’s autobiography, artfully creating a gripping coming-of-age story while sticking faithfully to the facts as he shared them. Lacing Bob’s narrative with chapters providing greater contextualization, Allen also shares background information about her family, the culturally explosive time and place of her uncle’s formative years, and the vitally important questions surrounding schizophrenia and mental healthcare in America more broadly. The result is a heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious portrait of a young man striving for stability in his life as well as his mind, and an utterly unique lens into an experience that, to most people, remains unimaginable.

Praise

"This book is an act of radical empathy through which the author—and, vicariously, the reader—enters intimately into a life that would otherwise be unintelligible." —Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

“To pay great attention and devote steady care to the perspective of another is, in itself, almost miraculous—especially when the Other has been cast as mad and dangerous. Sandra Allen has brought forward her uncle's life, rendering in exquisite detail what his experiences as a stigmatized, struggling man allowed him to see. This is a truly original piece of work. I urge you to read it.” —Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family

“A book of many strange and often oddly beautiful pieces that together combine into a story that will make you tremble. A Kind of Miraculous Paradise is a resurrection of sorts, a profound retrieval of a life from beyond the veil with which so many of us obscure the realities of illness and family, loneliness and intimacy." —Jeff Sharlet, bestselling author of The Family

Lauren Slater
Lauren Slater

Lauren Slater

Lauren Slater is the author of Welcome to My Country, Prozac Diary, Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir, and Opening Skinner's Box, among other books. She has received numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT. Opening Skinner's Box was nominated for best science writing by the Los Angeles Times, and her work has been reprinted numerous times in The Best American Essays. She lives on a farm in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Sandra Allen
Sandra Allen

Sandra Allen

Sandra Allen grew up in Muir Beach, California. She attended Brown University and received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Iowa. A former BuzzFeed editor, she lives in New York. A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia is her first book.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
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Ordering a signed book by phone:

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FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

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Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x6
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

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