Synopses & Reviews
From the author of The New York Times bestseller Self- Made Man, a captivating expose of depression and mental illness in America
Revelatory, deeply personal, and utterly relevant, Voluntary Madness is a controversial work that unveils the state of mental healthcare in the United States from the inside out. At the conclusion of her celebrated first book--Self-Made Man, in which she soent eighteen months disguised as a man-Norah Vincent found herself emotionally drained and severely depressed.
Determined but uncertain about maintaining her own equilibrium, she boldly committed herself to three different facilities-a big-city hospital, a private clinic in the Midwest, and finally an upscale retreat in the South. Voluntary Madness is the chronicle of Vincent's journey through the world of the mentally ill as she struggles to find her own health and happiness.
A thoughtful, entertaining piece of first-person investigative journalism . . . Self-Made Man
transcends its premise altogether. . . . So rich and so audacious . . . [I was] hooked from Page 1. (David Kamp, The New York Times Book Review
Vincents account of how she became a man is undeniably fascinating. (Los Angeles Times Book World)
Eye-opening . . . Self-Made Man will make many women think twice about coveting male privilege and make any man feel grateful that his gender is better understood. (The Washington Post)
[Vincent] can be as perspicuous and exact as Joan Didion or Gloria Steinem at nailing a hitherto disregarded truth about the sexes in a single elegant and witty phrase. . . . This is a brave and often fascinating book, with Vincent . . . offering us perspectives that are entirely fresh and new. (The Times,London)
A journalists provocative and spellbinding account of her eighteen months spent disguised as a man
Norah Vincent became an instant media sensation with the publication of Self-Made Man, her take on just how hard it is to be a man, even in a mans world. Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me), Norah spent a year and a half disguised as her male alter ego, Ned, exploring what men are like when women arent around. As Ned, she joins a bowling team, takes a high-octane sales job, goes on dates with women (and men), visits strip clubs, and even manages to infiltrate a monastery and a mens therapy group. At once thought- provoking and pure fun to read, Self-Made Man is a sympathetic and thrilling tour de force of immersion journalism.
Norah Vincent’s first two books—the New York Times
bestseller Self-Made Man
and Voluntary Madness
—were masterworks of immersion journalism. Now Vincent unleashes her considerable talents in a spellbinding novel that’s as provocative and absorbing as her acclaimed nonfiction. Since his parents’ violent deaths thirteen years ago, Nick Walsh has been living alone in his childhood home, drinking, drugging, and debauching himself into oblivion. Deranged by his relentless sorrow, he begins spying on his neighbors via hidden cameras and microphones. As he observes all the strange, sad, and terrifying things that people do when they think no one is watching, Nick begins to unravel the shocking truth about how and why his parents died.
About the Author
Norah Vincent is the author of the New York Times bestseller Self-Made Man. Previously, she wrote a nationally syndicated op-ed column for the Los Angeles Times. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, The Village Voice, and The Washington Post. She lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Self-Made Man 1. Getting Started
8. Journey's End