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Submitted Literature

The Centre Cannot Hold

By Elyn Saks


Elyn Saks, a successful Professor and Lawyer, bares her soul in this startling text on surviving schizophrenia. Despite a number of difficulties from a very young age, Saks’ text stands as a testimony to the benefits of supportive care and the potential of individuals written off due to a diagnosis.

Key Themes:

  • Autobiography
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Revealing Reads
  • Schizophrenia

Significant Quotes / Pages

93 – “Psychosis is like an insidious infection that nevertheless leaves some of your faculties intact; in a psychiatric hospital, for example, even the most debilitated schizophrenic patients show up on time for meals, and they evacuate the ward when the fire alarms go off.  So it was for me.  Completely delusional, I still understood how certain aspects of the world worked”

Reference: Elyn, Saks. 2007. The Centre Cannot Hold. London: Virago, 2007


- Charley Baker
Date Review Submitted: Monday 23rd March 2009