What Do I Read Next?
Life Size (1992), a novel by Jenefer Shute, tells of a young woman who has been hospitalized for another mental illness: anorexia nervosa. The novel switches between the past and the present, detailing the woman’s recovery while showing the factors that led to her eating disorder.
Bloom’s collection Come to Me features beautifully rendered stories about people suffering from any myriad of problems and mental illnesses. ‘‘Hyacinths’’ tells the story of a childhood incident in which the father in ‘‘Silver Water’’ accidentally shoots his cousin. ‘‘The Sight of You’’ details the mother’s affair with a handsome neighbor who wants to marry her.
Bloom’s novel Love Invents Us chronicles the lifetime of a woman named Elizabeth, from her abusive childhood to her dissatisfied adulthood. Along the way, Elizabeth grapples with all the typical things that make up a life, but she also steadfastly determines to keep a hold on what is important: love.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story ‘‘The Yellow Wallpaper’’ depicts a woman’s descent into madness. Bound by the strict rules of 1890s society, Gilman’s narrator finds herself unable to deal with the reality of her life, which would deny her creativity.
The Dark Sister (1993) by Rebecca Goldstein tells of the relationship between two sisters. One of them, a feminist writer, is currently writing a novel about two sisters, both of whom seem to be going mad.
William Styron’s Lie Down in Darkness (1992) tells the story of a troubled southern family in the mid-1900s. The Loftis family experiences irreparable dysfunction as they lack the ability to forge meaningful, solid bonds with one another. The pressure of growing up in such an environment takes its toll upon a daughter, who flees to New York, where she commits suicide.