Suzanne Scanlon in conversation with Mieke Eerkens

Event date: 
Friday, July 26, 2024 - 7:00pm

Suzanne Scanlon will read from her intimate, unsparing chronicle of surviving mental illness, Committed: On Meaning and Madwomen. She will be joined in conversation by Mieke Eerkens. "Suzanne Scanlon’s memoir Committed is a lyrical and illuminating account of a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and institutionalization. Mining the metaphors endemic to the institutional setting—the way madness or insanity is “a story the patients are told and learn to tell about themselves”—and making use of medical records and her own journals alongside literary depictions and descriptions of treatment, Scanlon questions the cultural conversations around women and mental illness, framing a compelling narrative of her own recovery and redemption." —Natasha Trethewey

Suzanne Scanlon is the author of the novels Promising Young Women and Her 37th Year, An Index. Her writing has appeared in Granta, BOMB Magazine, The Iowa Review, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places. She is teaching for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival this summer.

Mieke Eerkens is an alum of the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. She is the author of All Ships Follow Me, and her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Rumpus, Catapult, Los Angeles Review of Books, Pank, Guernica, and Creative Nonfiction, as well as in numerous anthologies.  She is teaching for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival this summer.


Event address: 
Prairie Lights Books
15 S Dubuque St
Iowa City, IA 52240
Committed: On Meaning and Madwomen By Suzanne Scanlon Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593469101
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 16th, 2024

A raw and masterful memoir about becoming a woman and going mad—and doing both at once.
When Suzanne Scanlon was a student at Barnard in the 90s, grieving the loss of her mother—feeling untethered and swimming through inarticulable pain—she made a suicide attempt that landed her in the New York State Psychiatric Institute.