MALOR BOOKS

SOUNDS FROM THE BELL JAR  

Ten Psychotic Authors

Gordon Claridge, Ruth Pryor, and Gwen Watkins

MALOR BOOKS, 1998

This groundbreaking work is a unique collaboration between an Oxford psychologist and two literary critics. It explores the lives and works of 10 authors, among them Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, who embody both serious mental illness and great originality of thought. The book draws upon personal diaries, historical archives, clinical records, and literary productions, and examines modes of thinking, such as divergent thought, over-inclusiveness, and autism, which psychosis and creativity might have in common.

Using genetics, experimental abnormal and clinical psychology, personality research, descriptive psychiatry, and literary analysis, Claridge, Pryor, and Watkins present the revolutionary idea that normality and psychosis are continuous with each other. Healthy varieties and styles of thought and perception substantially overlap with the inclination to psychotic breakdown, and indeed might at times be identical.

Psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, and general readers will gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between madness and creativity from this book.

ISBN 978-1-883536-15-2, Paperback (260 pages) $19.99

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