Oct 2010

“I spent the next hour or so laughing and singing and gibbering away on the roof of Yale Law School. I found several feet of loose telephone wire up there, and made myself a kind of belt.”

The memoir The Centre Cannot Hold charts the life of Professor Elyn Saks, a professor of law and psychiatry at the Southern California Gould School of Law who suffers the most debilitating form of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia has controlled Saks since she was 8 years old when houses began talking to her and controlling her thoughts. From Oxford to Yale Law School to her tenure as a law school professor, living a normal life was not possible. Even writing a simple case memo (in Australia, a case note) would send her into a full-blown schizophrenic attack that left her singing on the rooftop of the library, “Come to the Florida lemon tree! Come to Florida sunshine bush! Where are my lemons?”


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