Background Reading for My Mania for Insane Asylums

  • Background Reading for My Mania for Insane Asylums: "'You were having nightmares, Marshal. Serious nightmares.'
  • 'I'm in a mental institution on an island in a hurricane,' Teddy said.
  • 'Touche', Cawley said. 'I was here a month before I had a decent night's sleep. Who's Dolores?'"
  • --Dennis Lehane, Shutter IslandFiction
    • Project 17 - Laurie Faria Stolarz
    • The Ghost of Graylock - Dan Pobloski If you read one YA novel about a creepy abandoned asylum... In other words, this is perilously and beautifully close to being Session 9 in book form.
    • Black Jack - Leon Garfield Is it a love story, a boy's own adventure or a condemnation of 19th century London madhouses? Who can say? It is, however, highly recommended, a tale of a sane boy, a mad girl, and the corrupt madhouse that wants them both. Kind of.
    • The Black Stocking - Constance and Gwenyth Little. Who among us doesn't love a headless nurse and an escaped lunatic? Until now I hadn't actually believed there could be a cross between noir and Golden Age cozies. Snappy, weird and madcap.
    • A Mind to Murder - P D James
    • Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane Love this book. Love it. Not enough stars for it.
    • Sarah Canary - Karen Joy Fowler
    • Murder in the Madhouse - John Latimer 4 stars. Snappy Golden Age mystery dialogue and a great setting. Slightly unbelievable ending.
    • Veronika Decides to Die - Paul Coelho: Not as depressing as advertised.
    • The Blackstone Chronicles (books 1-6) - John Saul: Thrilling little reads, at roughly 90 pages apiece. Horrifying accounts of insane asylum treatment, possibly "horrified up" for horror audiences, but these scenes out-scare the supernatural every time.
      Spoiler: Highlight to view
      Icky, icky Stockholm Syndrome, though.
    • Mortal: A Love Story - Elizabeth Hand
    • The Asylum 2: The Violent Ward - Victor Heck
    • Lunatic Asylum - Dallis Christenson
    • Killer Asylum - David R Williams
    • Asylum from the Inside - R B Rose
    • Asylum - Aaron Rosenberg
    • Asylum - Patrick McGrath
    • The Reunion - Sue Walker
    • Hawkes Harbor - SE Hinton
    • Love in the Asylum: A Novel - Lisa Carey
    • The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
    • The Feast of Stephen - Rosemary Aubert
    • Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
    • The Muse Asylum - David Czuchlewski
    • The System of Dr Tarr and Professor Fether - E A Poe
    • The Judgment - D W Buffer
    • Sunrise Song - Kathleen Eagle
    • The Screaming Mimi - Fredric Brown
    • The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
    • Light and Shadow - Jayne Ann Krentz
    • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
    • The Deadhouse - Linda Fairstein
    • Speaking in Tongues - Jeffrey Deaver
    • Clans of the Alphane Moon - Phillip K Dick
    • The Divine Suicide - John Tannock
    • Lost Souls of the Witches' Castle - Terri DuLong
    • The Magic Mountain - Thomas Mann
    • Out of the Madhouse - Christopher Golden
    • Aunt Dimity's Christmas - Nanci Atherton
    • Garnethill: a novel - Denise Mina
    • Catch Me - A J Holt
    • Framed in Fire - David Patneaude
    • He's Watching You - Francine Pascal
    • Projection - Keith Ablow
    • The Pane of Glass - John Bartlow Martin
    • I is another - Elisabeth Russell Taylor
    • Nazareth Hill - Ramsey Campbell
    • The Book of the Mad - Tanith Lee
    • Hospital of the Transfiguration - Stanislaw Lem
  • Terror Keep - Edgar Wallace

  • Non-Fiction
    • Asylum on the Hill - Michael Ramseur
    • The Eye of Danvers - Michael Ramseur
    • Haunted Palace: Danvers Asylum as Art and History - Michael Ramseur
    • Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London - Susan Tyler Hitchcock
    • Insanity as Redemption in Contemporary American Fiction: Inmates Running the Asylum - Barbara Lepa Tupack
    • Alchemy of Bones: Chicago's Luetgert Murder Case of 1897 - Robert Loerzl
    • Gracefully Insane: Life and Death Inside America's Premier Mental Hospital - Alex Beam
    • Mad In America - Robert Whitaker
    • The Vermont Asylum for the Insane: Its Annals for Fifty Years - Joseph Draper
    • Abandoned Asylums of New England - John Gray and Mark Gerrity
    • Angels in the Architecture: A Photographic Elegy to an American Insane Asylum - Heidi Johnson
    • Snake Pit Attendant: The Experiences of a Mental Hospital Attendant - Jesse Walter Dees, Jr
    • Life at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997 - Sarah C Sitton
    • The Age of Madness: The History of Involuntary Mental Hospitalization - ed. by Thomas S Szasz
    • Beauty is Therapy: Memories of the Traverse City State Hospital - Earle E Steelye
    • Women of the Asylum: Voices from Behind the Walls, 1840-1945 - Jeffery L Geller
    • The Day They Scrambled My Brains at the Funny Factory - Max Rabinowitz
    • Masters of Bedlam: The Transformation of the Mad Doctoring Trade - Andrew Scull, Charlotte MacKenzie
    • Homes for the Mad: Life Inside Two Nineteenth-Century Asylums - Ellen Dwyer
    • Moonlight, magnolias & madness: insanity in South Carolina from the colonial period to the progressive era - Peter McCandless
    • Victorian lunacy: Richard M Burke and The Practice of Late Nineteenth Century Psychiatry - SED Shortt
    • Mad Yankees: The Hartford Retreat for the Insane and Nineteenth-Century Psychiatry - Lawrence B Goodheart
    • But for the grace of God: The inside story of the world's largest insane asylum, Milledgeville! - Peter Gordon Cranford
    • Astounding Disclosures! Three years in a mad-house - Isaac H Hunt
    • Madhouses, mad-doctors and madmen: the social history of psychiatry in the Victorian era - Andrew T Scull

    • Taint of Madness: Insanity and Dread Within Asylum Walls - Michael Tice
    • Arkham Asylum: Living Hell - Dan Slott (comic)
    • Arkham Asylum - Grant Morrison (comic)
Author Comments: 

Aslyums. I still loves 'em.

Have you read the Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath? It surprised me that it wasn't on the list!

Sorry, x, I just haven't read it, or read much about it. I know it's about insanity, but I hadn't realized there was a portion in an asylum. Problem rectified.

What about Asylum by Patrick McGrath?

Added. Many thanks.

DANVERS STATE HOSPITAL is revealed and painted in a new book just published, HAUNTED PALACE by Michael Ramseur, complete with interviews with ex-staff and ex-patients, litewrature, photographs, brain diagrams, and about 70 beautiful pastels of the place. Go to:

Wow. You actually made it through Veronika Decides to Die?? You can have my copy.

For your poetry section: "Tom o' Bedlam's Song" by Anon.

The page is easier to read if you right-click on it and then left click on Select All.

Thanks, bertie!