© 2020 Sandy Ernest Allen

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Available from Scribner in paperback, hardcover, ebook and audiobook  
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French edition publishing August 2019 from Belfond

In 2009, I got a call from my Uncle Bob.

Uncle Bob was a self-described "hermit" who lived in the desert in Northern California. I didn't know him well. I'd heard from relatives he was "crazy," though I didn't know what that meant. I had been to see him at his little smoky house once, when I was in college.

 

Bob wanted to mail me something he'd written. Soon after this envelope showed up, filled with a story he'd typed on his typewriter in all capital letters. On a cover page, he wrote it was a "true story" about being "labeled a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic." Soon after on the phone, Bob explained he wanted my help in getting the story "out there" because it was "true." 

At the time I didn't have much interest in helping him with the project, but over time I changed my mind. I tell that story, and Bob's, in my book about Bob and his life and his diagnosis: A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia. It was published in hardcover January 2018 by Scribner and in paperback a year later. 

AKOMP is written in two fonts. In one, I tell the story of Bob's life, my 'cover version' of it. (His facts, my words, mostly.) Bob was a Hendrix-obsessed kid coming of age in tumultuous late sixties Berkeley, CA. His world was forever changed when one day in 1970, at about age sixteen, he was driven to a mental hospital, locked in a cell, injected with Thorazine and given a life-altering diagnosis. 

 

In a second font, I investigate what that diagnosis means, and the rest of the world around Bob. I interviewed everybody in his story who'd speak to me to try to understand how Bob was seen by others, and how that affects the truth of him. ​

The book is, hopefully, like no other book you've ever read. Reading it might start to change your whole head. 

Visit this page to read praise and reviews of the book, as well as interviews I've done about it.