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What’s Normal?

Narratives of Mental and Emotional Disorders

Literature & Medicine, Medicine


DescriptionWhat’s Normal?, examines the issues of “abnormalities” in mental health, intelligence, and sexual behavior.

The first section of What’s Normal? presents a wide-ranging collection of essays and articles written by renowned clinicians who address clinical, ethical, and social issues related to mental illness and disorders. The second section uses fiction, poetry, and drama to portray mental and behavioral abnormalities, sometimes from “inside” the perspective of the deviant and sometimes from the experiences of family, friends, and other engaged observers. Excerpts that examine the treatment of mental health, intelligence, and sexual conduct are cited from such literary works as Equus, Of Mice and Men, Like Water for Chocolate, and Sula.

The Literature and Medicine Series is extended to encourage those working or living with others outside the norms to be more inclusive and understanding. What’s Normal? is an insightful and valuable addition to this series.

EditorsCarol Donley is professor of English and codirector of the Center for Literature, Medicine, and Health Care Professions at Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio. She is the coauthor of Einstein as Myth and Muse (Cambridge University Press, 1986), and coeditor of Recognitions: Doctors and Their Stories (Kent State University Press, 2002).

Sheryl Buckley is an anesthesiologist in private practice in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She is coeditor, with Carol Donley, of The Tyranny of the Normal (Kent State University Press, 1996).