A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise
A True Story About Schizophrenia
Sandy Allen, Sandy Allen, Pete Simonelli
“Compelling…A bracing work of art and a loving tribute” (Los Angeles Times), this propulsive, stunning book illuminates the experience of living with schizophrenia like never before.
Sandra Allen did not know their uncle Bob very well. As a child, Sandy had been told Bob was “crazy,” that he had spent time in mental hospitals while growing up in Berkeley in the 60s and 70s. But Bob had lived a hermetic life in a remote part of California for longer than Sandy had been alive, and what little Sandy knew of him came from rare family reunions or odd, infrequent phone calls. Then in 2009 Bob mailed Sandy his autobiography. Typewritten in all caps, a stream of error-riddled sentences more than sixty, single-spaced pages, the often-incomprehensible manuscript proclaimed to be a “true story” about being “labeled a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic,” and arrived with a plea to help him get his story out to the world.
“Searing” (O, The Oprah Magazine), “enthralling” (Star-Tribune, Minneapolis), and “a marvel” (Esquire), A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise shows how Sandy translated Bob’s autobiography, artfully creating a gripping coming-of-age story while sticking faithfully to the facts as he shared them. Sandy also shares background information about their family, the culturally explosive time and place of their uncle’s formative years, and the vitally important questions surrounding schizophrenia and mental healthcare in America more broadly. The result is a heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious portrait of a young man striving for stability in his life as well as his mind, and an utterly unique lens into an experience that, to most people, remains unimaginable.
“Thrilling…Gorgeous…a watershed in empathetic adaptation of ‘outsider’ autobiography” (The New Republic), A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise is a dazzlingly, daringly written book that’s poised to change conversation about schizophrenia and mental illness generally.