City of Incurable Women

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Maud Casey’s City of Incurable Women is a search for voices lost to history and the piecing together needed to bring them back to life. A collage of historic medical reports, photographs of the women of Paris’s Salpetriere mental asylum, and the fictionalized first-hand accounts of those women, the book is an experimental interrogation of collective memory and history, as well as the nuances trapped in between.

Casey questions patriarchal collective memory and history as she turns over the photographs and lore of Doctor Jean Martin-Charcot’s brand of hysteria and the women like Louise Augustine Gleizes who were imprisoned behind its bars. Throughout these revolving narratives and search for her lost women, Casey’s narrative is investigational and piercing while holding their stories in unity and empathy. She dismantles the facade of cold, medical logic and its dehumanization of women while also creating beautiful poetry in their voices – the effect is a tender but gratingly explicit account of the abuse and othering of who has been cast out of society. In this spiraling account of the other, the abused, the forgotten, the insane, City of Incurable Women reopens the walls of a collective human history that refuses to be cast aside.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 128 pages
Publisher Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date 22-Feb-2022
ISBN 9781942658863 Buy this Book
Issue April 2022
Category Historical Fiction