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Sandy Ernest Allen (he/they) is a writer and speaker. He is the author of the critically acclaimed work of literary nonfiction A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia (Scribner). The book was featured on This American Life and long-listed as a top work of journalism of the decade by NYU's journalism school. Sandy's work tends to focus on normalcy, especially to do with gender and mental health. He is queer and trans.

Sandy has written for many publications, including The Cut, Guernica, Lit Hub, Bon Appétit's Healthyish, a column for Them, and the late BuzzFeed News, where he was once a longform editor. He has produced stories for the podcast 99% Invisible (about historical asylums and bathroom desegregation). More recently Sandy appeared again on This American Life in a story about his singing voice and Testosterone. Sandy also hosted his own podcast, Mad Chat, which was about pop culture and mental health. He has received various awards and honors, including a residency at MacDowell. His work has been optioned, and he's adapted nonfiction IP for television. 


Sandy is from a small beach town in Northern California and has degrees in nonfiction writing from Brown and the University of Iowa (MFA '12). These days, Sandy lives in the Catskills with his husband Rob Dubbin, as well as their dogs, cats and many plants. Sandy is often found walking said dogs or watering said plants or baking or singing at the piano or writing his next book, which is about the future of mental health care. He's also working on other projects, including for the stage and screen. Though he is no longer on social media, he writes an occasional newsletter called What's Helping Today, to which you are encouraged to subscribe.

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