Posts Tagged: Longform

The Women of Ward 3B

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[Alice's] brown eyes are comparatively lucid in a room filled with women alternately sedated or enraged. She comforts Shania, who believes a bulldozer is parked inside her forehead, and Sabrina, who thinks an ex-boyfriend has taken custody of their nonexistent septuplet babies, whose names she cannot always remember but each of whom is called a different diminutive form of “Angel.”

What you may not realize from this passage is that Alice is also an inpatient at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, and though she often acts as a sort of informal therapist for the other women, “she is forced to admit: ‘You’re here for your own self, too.’”

Read more about her story and the story of the institution she’s in this essay at The Big Round Table, highlighted by Longform.org.

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“Talk Dirty and Live Clean”

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If reading our interview with Peter Rock (and getting psyched for his reading tomorrow) has whetted your appetite for cult stories, check out this piece on Synanon by George Pendle, highlighted by Longform earlier this week.

Things start out all right, with a recovering alcoholic named Chuck Dederich meeting with some Alcoholics Anonymous pals for “bull sessions.” By the end, we’ve got forcibly shaved heads and farmers waking up to the sounds of child runaways.

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