Growing Up Mad in the South: Stories, Poems, and Other Aberrations

on amazon: Growing Up Mad in the South: Stories, Poems, and Other Aberrations

Bonnie Schell’s invitation to buy her book:

Greetings, ya’ll.

I have, while being in retirement, while being treated for small cell carcinoma in my left lung, and while isolating during the COVID Pandemic, written and published a book I want you to know about. (Yikes, an ending preposition!) Growing Up Mad in the South is set in Atlanta, GA, during the 1950s and 60s. Diagnosed with a serious mental illness at 17, the Mad narrator, yours truly, struggles with both my aberrant neurology and also my anger at a society that failed to value those judged to be different. You may have known the song that says “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight….” Where I lived those children better stay outside my church and my school.

The stories and poems in this collection are full of esoteric Southern expressions, relatives, teachers, employers, and landladies. There are Vacation Bible School, old Gospel, and Kingston Trio lyrics that stuck in my head. There are troublesome words such as “Well-Rounded,” “Bite Your Tongue,” and “White Only.” I hope you will read my book or give it to the “perfect person.” Then post a one to three sentence review on Amazon. If 50 people do this, Jeff Bezos will move my book to the top of search lists.

and from Bonnie’s website:

“In southern California I ran a yarn shop, Happy Hookers, and later, in northern California, a drop in center, The Mental Health Client Action Network for the neurologically diverse and frequently homeless. People came to the needlework shop to knit for the pending birth of babies, for crocheted bikinis and for something to do while they sat with the dying. While the south still called a psychotic break with reality a “nervous breakdown,” best kept in the backroom, Californians proudly wore sweat shirts that said “I graduated with a brain chip from UCLA Hospital.”  I joined Psychiatric Inmates Rights Collective carrying signs that read “Housing, not Haldol” and became fascinated by the rhyming “word salad” of the so-called “seriously and persistently mentally ill (SPMI)” who were “likely to deteriorate.” While working full time, I have published prose and poetry in 43 mostly small, low circulation journals, magazines, and anthologies, one mimeographed.”

You can find her book online here: Growing Up Mad in the South: Stories, Poems, and Other Aberrations 

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