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Article

Cambridge

Posted on

CAMBRIDGE Susanna Kaysen

Cambridge

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Susanna Kaysen
publisher:
Knopf
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B

Kaysen, who famously recounted her time in a psychiatric ward in the best-selling 1993 memoir Girl, Interrupted, mines her young life once again — with diminishing returns. It’s not that she lacks material. The eldest daughter of a Harvard academic, she spent her childhood in a nicotine fugue of midcentury artists and intellectuals, boomeranging between the Massachusetts city of the title and her father’s exotic European postings. As a travel writer, Kaysen shines: Her descriptions of sunbaked Italian villas and the dank shortcomings of British plumbing come in Technicolor. As a memoirist, however (Cambridge‘s jacket dubs it a ”novel-from-life”), she cul-de-sacs in needless minutiae and sour score-settling with her parents. Sometimes a girl, uninterrupted goes on too long. B