The Lives They Left Behind

Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic

The Lives They Left Behind

“The Lives They Left Behind is a deeply moving testament to the human side of mental illness, and of the narrow margin which so often separates the sane from the mad. It is a remarkable portrait, too, of the life of a psychiatric asylum—the sort of community in which, for better and for worse, hundreds of thousands of people lived out their lives. Darby Penney and Peter Stastny’s careful historical (almost archaeological) and biographical reconstructions give us unique insight into these lives which would otherwise be lost and, indeed, unimaginable to the rest of us.” —Oliver Sacks “Fascinating. . . . The haunting thing about the suitcase owners is that it’s so easy to identify with them.” —Newsweek When Willard State Hospital closed its doors in 1995, after operating as one of New York State’s largest mental institutions for over 120 years, a forgotten attic filled with suitcases belonging to former patients was discovered. Using the possessions found in these suitcases along with institutional records and doctors’ notes from patient sessions, Darby Penney, a leading advocate of patients’ rights, and Peter Stastny, a psychiatrist and documentary filmmaker, were able to reconstruct the lives of ten patients who resided at Willard during the first half of the twentieth century. The Lives They Left Behind tells their story. In addition to these human portraits, the book contains over 100 photographs as well as valuable historical background on how this state-funded institution operated. As it restores the humanity of the individuals it so poignantly evokes, The Lives They Left Behind reveals the vast historical inadequacies of a psychiatric system that has yet to heal itself.

What She Left Behind

What She Left Behind

In this stunning new novel, the acclaimed author of The Plum Tree merges the past and present into a haunting story about the nature of love and loyalty--and the lengths we will go to protect those who need us most. Ten years ago, Izzy Stone's mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother's apparent insanity, Izzy, now seventeen, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy's help in cataloging items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past. Clara Cartwright, eighteen years old in 1929, is caught between her overbearing parents and her love for an Italian immigrant. Furious when she rejects an arranged marriage, Clara's father sends her to a genteel home for nervous invalids. But when his fortune is lost in the stock market crash, he can no longer afford her care—and Clara is committed to the public asylum. Even as Izzy deals with the challenges of yet another new beginning, Clara's story keeps drawing her into the past. If Clara was never really mentally ill, could something else explain her own mother's violent act? Piecing together Clara's fate compels Izzy to re-examine her own choices--with shocking and unexpected results. Illuminating and provocative, What She Left Behind is a masterful novel about the yearning to belong—and the mysteries that can belie even the most ordinary life. Praise For Ellen Marie Wiseman's THE PLUM TREE "Ellen Marie Wiseman's provocative and realistic images of a small German village are exquisite. The Plum Tree will find good company on the shelves of those who appreciated Skeletons at the Feast, by Chris Bohjalian, Sarah's Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay, and Night, by Elie Wiesel." —New York Journal of Books "The meticulous hand-crafted detail and emotional intensity of The Plum Tree immersed me in Germany during its darkest hours and the ordeals its citizens had to face. A must-read for WWII Fiction aficionados—and any reader who loves a transporting story." —Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us "Wiseman eschews the genre's usual military conflicts of daily life during wartime, lending an intimate and compelling poignancy to this intriguing debut." —Publishers Weekly "Ellen Marie Wiseman weaves a story of intrigue, terror, and love from a perspective not often seen in Holocaust novels." —Jewish Book World "A haunting and beautiful debut novel." —Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August

Nursing History Review, Volume 20

Official Journal of the American Association for the History of Nursing

Nursing History Review, Volume 20

Nursing History Review, an annual peer-reviewed publication of the American Association for the History of Nursing, is a showcase for the most significant current research on nursing history. Regular sections include scholarly articles, over a dozen book reviews of the best publications on nursing and health care history that have appeared in the past year, and a section abstracting new doctoral dissertations on nursing history. Historians, researchers, and individuals fascinated with the rich field of nursing will find this an important resource. Included in Volume 20... “To Help a Million Sick You Must Kill a Few Nurses”: Nurses’ Occupational Health, 1890–1914 “Who Would Know Better Than the Girls in White?” Nurses as Experts in Postwar Magazine Advertising, 1945–1950 Maternal Expectations: New Mothers, Nurses, and Breastfeeding Community Mental Health Nursing in Alberta, Canada: An Oral History “Time Enough! or Not Enough Time!” An Oral History Investigation of Some British and Australian Community Nurses’ Responses to Demands for “Efficiency” in Healthcare, 1960–2000 China Confidential: Methodological and Ethical Challenges in Global Nursing Historiography

The Beauty of What Remains

Family Lost, Family Found

The Beauty of What Remains

Where are they now, the lost, the forgotten? With the love in her mother’s silence as her guide, Susan Johnson Hadler began a quest to find out who the missing people in her family were and what happened to them. The search led her to Germany, where her father was killed just before the end of WWII; then to a Buddhist monastery in France, where she learned new ways to relate to life and death; and ultimately to a state mental hospital in Ohio, where the family abandoned her mother’s older sister years earlier. She believed that her aunt had died—but Hadler, to her great surprise, found her still alive at age ninety-four. And the story didn’t end there. Captivating and often heartwrenching, The Beauty of What Remains is a story of liberating a family from secrets, ghosts, and untold pain; of reuniting four generations shattered by shame and fear; and of finding the ineffable beauty in what remains.

Newsweek

Newsweek


New York History

Quarterly Journal of the New York State Historical Association

New York History