A strong and courageous novel that deftly tackles psychosis.
In Melbourne, Australia, a woman in her late thirties is diagnosed with her third episode of psychosis, amounting to schizophrenia. What follows is a frenzied journey from home to a community house to a hospital and out again. Sanya, the protagonist, finds herself questioning the diagnosis of her sanity or insanity, as determined and defined by a medical model which seems less than convincing to her. Having studied psychology herself, she wonders whether, even if the diagnosis is correct to some extent, the treatment should be different. Sanya tells her story in a deceptively calm, first-person voice, using conversations as the primary narrative mode, as she ponders if and when the next psychotic episode will materialize.
Based on real-life events and originally written in Bengali, Hospital is a daring first novel that unflinchingly depicts the precarity of a woman living with psychosis and her struggles with the definition of sanity in our society.
In a mere 132 pages, Hospital exposes the vulnerable and distressing life of a woman struggling with psychosis. With heart-wrenching precision, Rushdi’s poignant prose takes us on a journey that evokes both empathy and enlightenment. Through Sanya’s struggles, we are forced to confront the unsettling realization that the line between sanity and madness is far from clear-cut, and that the depths of the human psyche remain a mystery that even modern psychology cannot fully unravel. Rushdi’s raw and visceral depiction of Sanya’s journey leaves an indelible mark on the reader, reminding us of the unrelenting power of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
'Sanya Rushdi’s Hospital is not just an act of magnificent storytelling, it is a vehement plea to be heard, to be recognised, respected, cared for, and loved. It is a story of empathy, compassion, and warmth.'—Ipshita Mitra, Feminism in India. Click here to read the full review.
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