Synopses & Reviews
The Eden Express describes from the inside Mark Vonneguts experience in the late 60s and early 70s—a recent college grad; in love; living communally on a farm, with a famous and doting father, cherished dog, and prized jalopy—and then the nervous breakdowns in all their slow-motion intimacy, the taste of mortality and opportunity for humor they provided, and the grim despair they afforded as well. That he emerged to write this funny and true book and then moved on to find the meaningful life that for a while had seemed beyond reach is what ultimately happens in The Eden Express. But the real story here is that throughout his harrowing experience his sense of humor let him see the humanity of what he was going through, and his gift of language let him describe it in such a moving way that others could begin to imagine both its utter ordinariness as well as the madness we all share.
"One of the best books about going crazy....Required reading for those who want to understand insanity from the inside." The New York Times
"Mark Vonneguts remembrance of what it was like in the 1960s is not only a memoir about his loss of political and social innocence, and ours, but a surprisingly good-natured trip through his own head." Los Angeles Times
"A remarkable book." The Atlantic
"A painfully honest document of life in transition." Time
Most diseases can be separated from ones self ... schizophrenia is something we are. So begins Mark Vonneguts depiction of his descent into, and eventual emergence from, mental illness. As a recent college graduate, self-avowed hippie, and son of a counterculture hero, Vonnegut begins to experience increasingly delusional thinking, suicidal thoughts, and physical incapacity. In February 1971 he is committed to a psychiatric hospital. The Eden Express, an ALA Notable Book first published over 25 years ago, is his honest, thoughtful, and moving account of the illness of schizophrenia. This edition features a new foreword by Kurt Vonnegut and a new preface by the author. Required reading for those who want to understand insanity from the inside. The New York Times
New edition with new foreword by Kurt Vonnegut.
About the Author
After writing The Eden Express, Mark Vonnegut went to medical school. He lives with his wife and two children in Milton, Mass., where he is a full-time practicing pediatrician.