Guests on Earth by Lee Smith
Guests on Earth by Lee Smith main setting is Highland Mental Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. Through narrator Evalina’s eyes, I viewed the realities of mental health care during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Zelda Fitzgerald died at Highland in a fire in 1948. A portion of this story is about Zelda’s various hospitalizations at this progressive hospital. The larger portion is Evalina’s life story – one not to be missed.
After reading the book, I sent Lee Smith the following email. I never expected to hear back from her; much less see the words “you’re just a terrific writer” in her response about my eating disorder’s article.
I am currently reading the book Guests on Earth. Having been a patient in several mental health facilities seven years ago, I appreciate the historical view of mental illness treatment. By highlighting the past, you are helping to open up a conversation about present day mental health stigma and treatments.
I understand how it took you so long to be ready to write this book. It took me 3 years to write the following article about my experience on the Eating Disorders Unit my daughter’s first Thanksgiving. I didn’t suffer from an eating disorder. But there were not any inpatient beds on the crisis unit so the hospital decided to place me on the eating disorders unit. I was suffering postpartum anxiety and psychosis. Below is a link to my article. Please share where you deem appropriate.