Book Review: The New Asylum: a memoir of psychiatry
The New Asylum is the third volume in a series of free-verse poetry anthologies and personal memoirs from Australian author Frank Prem (Small Town Kid, Devil In The Wind).
This collection is an exposé of life in the public psychiatric system, spanning five decades and describing sometimes graphically, sometimes ironically, often poignantly, and always honestly, a search for meaning in extraordinary and often incomprehensible circumstances.
The journey begins with childhood experiences of watching immigrant parents earn their living in the Mayday Hills Mental Asylum… progresses through the oddities and antics of psychiatric nurse training in the 1970s… on to the high-pressure coalface of managing regional centres facing an inundation of modern urban challenges… and finally, settles into the generally calmer waters of a small town residential facility.
Join Frank Prem on his New Asylum journey, and discover what it means to become that particular ‘mental health creature’ that is a psychiatric nurse.
I have the utmost respect for those who work with mental health patients. It must be one of the most challenging jobs to be a psychiatric nurse. The relentless and at times hopelessness of such an experience is delivered in poetic form in this memoir with a wry mixture of sadness, melancholy and just the right amount of humour. The free style verse is a perfect stylistic choice for this type of memoir.
Frank Prem’s poetry delivers a powerful punch – I also enjoyed Devil in The Wind: https://mjmallon.com/2019/06/17/book-review-of-devil-in-the-wind-by-frank-prem-poetry-blacksaturday-wildfires/
My rating of The New Asylum: 5 stars. #highlyrecommended
Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime
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Categories: Book Review