Book Cover

Quite Mad

An American Pharma Memoir

Sarah Fawn Montgomery

5.5 x 8.5, 296 pp.
EXPECTED Pub Date: August, 2018

Subjects: Creative Nonfiction

Series: Machete

Imprint: Mad Creek Books

Preorder Paperback $23.95   ISBN 978-0-8142-5486-8

Diagnosed with severe anxiety, PTSD, and OCD in her early twenties, Sarah Fawn Montgomery spent the next ten years seeking treatment and the language with which to describe the indescribable consequences of her mental illness. Faced with disbelief, intolerable side effects, and unexpected changes in her mental health as a result of treatment, Montgomery turned to American history and her own personal history—including her turbulent childhood and the violence she faced as a young woman—to make sense of the experience.

Blending memoir with literary journalism, Montgomery’s Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir examines America’s history of mental illness treatment—lobotomies to sterilization, the Rest Cure to Prozac—to challenge contemporary narratives about mental health. Questioning what it means to be a woman with highly stigmatized conditions, Montgomery also asks why mental illness continues to escalate in the United States despite so many “cures.” Investigating the construction of mental illness as a “female” malady, Montgomery exposes the ways current attitudes towards women and their bodies influence madness, as well as the ways madness has transformed to a chronic condition in our cultural imagination. Montgomery’s Quite Mad is one woman’s story, but it offers a beacon of hope and truth for the millions of individuals living with mental illness, and issues a warning about the danger of diagnosis and the complex definition of sanity.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery is the author of Regenerate: Poems of a Mad Woman, Leaving Tracks: A Prairie Guide, and The Astronaut Checks His Watch. She works as Prairie Schooner’s Assistant Editor and is an Assistant Professor at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. 



Part I
Chapter 1        The Influence of Intervention
Chapter 2        The Sick Role
Chapter 3        Nature or Nurture
Chapter 4        An American Diagnosis
Chapter 5        Patient History
Chapter 6        My Voice for Their Drugs

Part II
Chapter 7        A Female Malady
Chapter 8        Learned Behavior
Chapter 9        The World We’ve Made for Women
Chapter 10      Editing
Chapter 11      Molecular Myths

Part III
Chapter 12      Bitter Pills
Chapter 13      Rebuffed
Chapter 14      Delicates
Chapter 15      Unbearable Weight

Part IV
Chapter 16      Rapture in May
Chapter 17      Occam’s Razor
Chapter 18      Compulsion
Chapter 19      Moral Treatment
Chapter 20      Taking Up Space
Chapter 21      Turning Around
Chapter 22      Is Satisfied Enough?



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