Is There No Place on Earth for Me?

  • by Susan Sheehan
  • Narrated by Kaleo Griffith, Kate Reading
  • 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This renowned journalist's classic Pulitzer Prize winning investigation of schizophrenia - now reissued with a new postscript - follows a flamboyant and fiercely intelligent young woman as she struggles in the throes of mental illness.
"Sylvia Frumkin" was born in 1948 and began showing signs of schizophrenia in her teens. She spent the next seventeen years in and out of mental institutions. In 1978, reporter Susan Sheehan took an interest in her and, for more than two years, became immersed in her life: Talking with her, listening to her monologues, sitting in on consultations with doctors - even, for a period, sleeping in the bed next to her in a psychiatric center.
With Sheehan, we become witness to Sylvia's plight: Her psychotic episodes, the medical struggle to control her symptoms, and the overburdened hospitals that, more often than not, she was obliged to call home. The resulting book, first published in 1982, was hailed as an extraordinary achievement: Harrowing, humanizing, moving, and bitingly funny. Now, some two decades later, Is There No Place on Earth for Me continues to set the standard for accounts of mental illness.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

General Anesthesia, Report to Psychiatry at Once!

This is surely the most yawnworthy selection you could ever hope not to find on Audible. Sheehan is a hideously dull writer, one obsessed with insignificant numbers and dates, and she pelts us with them throughout this dry-as-a-bone chronology of a woman's battle with schizophrenia. The narrator matches the author's talent for turning a good story into a dry rehashing of dates, although for her, reading this book must've been slightly less interesting than recounting the NYC phone book.
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- Ella

Sad But True

What made the experience of listening to Is There No Place on Earth for Me? the most enjoyable?

I found the author's understanding of the mental health system for young people in America very enlightening. I was amazed by the number of drugs tried by sufferers of mental illnesses and the fact that Drs. do not understand how the drugs effect each patient differently. This is an eye opening study of painful life one human who tried hard to fit in but could never please herself or others. She was a lost soul who kept searching for the cure to her diseased brain.

What did you like best about this story?

I like the fact that her sister stood by her through out her illness and tried to understand and love her in spite of her strange, childish, and often violent behavior.

Have you listened to any of Kaleo Griffith and Kate Reading ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listen to Kate Reading before and I think she is a very good reader. She did an outstanding job conveying the pain of the main character of this biographical study of a mentally ill young American.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I wanted to learn if the Drs. ever found the medication(s) that could keep this bright women from self destruction and other psychotic behaviors.

Any additional comments?

An eye opening true story of the failures of modern medicine to help the mentally ill young people living among us try to exhibit "normal" behavior patterns. As we learn about the number of youth who are mentally ill. We all need to listen to this book to truly understand their frustration with the mental health system in the U.S.

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- Roberta L. Ruben "Retired Library Media Specialist. Professor of Instructional Technology. Over 65 and living in Chicago."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-01-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios