W-3

By Bette Howland,

Book cover of W-3

Book description

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Why read it?

1 author picked W-3 as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is a recent reissue of a book first published in 1974 and long out of print. Bette Howland gives us a vivid and honest account of her time in Ward 3 of a Chicago psychiatric hospital after a serious suicide attempt in her late twenties. I was moved by the moments of communion, camaraderie and even comedy the narrator shares with her fellow patients. Having said that, Ward 3 is a terrible place. The “treatments” are also punishments. The narrator confronts the ward’s alienation with clear, unsentimental detachment. I was absorbed by her struggle to retain an element of…

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