Mental Traveler: A Father, a Son, and a Journey Through Schizophrenia

Author:   W J T Mitchell
Publisher:   The University of Chicago Press
ISBN:  

9780226695938


Pages:   192
Publication Date:   23 March 2020
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
This item is yet to be released. You can pre-order this item and we will dispatch it to you upon its release.

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Mental Traveler: A Father, a Son, and a Journey Through Schizophrenia


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Overview

How does a parent make sense of a child's severe mental illness? How does a father meet the daily challenges of caring for his gifted but delusional son, while seeking to overcome the stigma of madness and the limits of psychiatry? W. J. T. Mitchell's memoir tells the story--at once representative and unique--of one family's encounter with mental illness, and bears witness to the life of the talented young man who was his son. Gabriel Mitchell was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of twenty-one and died by suicide eighteen years later. He left behind a remarkable archive of creative work and a father determined to honor his son's attempts to conquer his own illness. Before his death, Gabe had been working on a film that would show madness from inside and out, as media stereotype and spectacle, symptom and stigma, malady and minority status, disability and gateway to insight. He was convinced that madness is an extreme form of subjective experience that we all endure at some point in our lives, whether in moments of ecstasy or melancholy or in the enduring trauma of a broken heart. Gabe's declared ambition was to transform schizophrenia from a death sentence to a learning experience, and madness from a curse to a critical perspective. Through vignettes and memories, by turns difficult, unsettling, and humorous, Mental Traveler shows how Mitchell was drawn into Gabe's quest for enlightenment within madness. Shot through with love and pain, this memoir holds many lessons for anyone struggling to cope with mental illness, and especially for parents and caregivers of those caught in its grasp.

Full Product Details

Author:   W J T Mitchell
Publisher:   The University of Chicago Press
Imprint:   University of Chicago Press
ISBN:  

9780226695938


ISBN 10:   022669593
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   23 March 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
This item is yet to be released. You can pre-order this item and we will dispatch it to you upon its release.

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Reviews

Mitchell's Mental Traveler combines a scholar's intellect with a father's intimate perspective on the life, work, and suicide of his son, Gabriel Mitchell. A kaleidoscopic and erudite memoir of madness and sanity, this is also, at its core, a stunning account of what endures in the wake of catastrophic tragedies: love, art, and vast stores of human hope. --Rachel DeWoskin, author of Banshee and Someday We Will Fly A father's account, a humane case study of a person with schizophrenia, and above all a beautiful elegy for a bright and creative and troubled life lost, Mental Traveler is renowned scholar W.J.T. Mitchell's lucid memoir of his son Gabe's illness from early-onset in college to crisis, recovery, treatment, and finding a way in the world before his untimely death. Through a deep and clear-eyed process of attention and reminiscence, this book does a lot to dispel the stereotyping and scapegoating of people and families suffering from and with schizophrenia. --Greg Bottoms, author of Angelhead: My Brother's Descent into Madness


Author Information

W. J. T. Mitchell teaches English and art history at the University of Chicago. His books include Image Science, Cloning Terror, and What Do Pictures Want?, all also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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