Susanna Kaysen

Susanna Kaysen (born 11 November 1948) is an American author.


  • I've gone back to the Frick since then to look at her and at the two other Vermeers. Vermeers, after all, are hard to come by, and the one in Boston has been stolen. The other two are self-contained paintings. The people in them are looking at each other -- the lady and her maid, the soldier and his sweetheart. Seeing them is peeking at them through a hole in a wall. And the wall is made of light -- that entirely credible yet unreal Vermeer light. Light like this does not exist, but we wish it did. We wish the sun could make us young and beauitful, we wish our clothes could glisten and ripple against our skins, most of all, we wish that everyone we knew could be brightened simply by our looking at them, as are the maid with the letter and the soldier with the hat. The girl at her music sits in another sort of light, the fitful, overcast light of life, by which we see ourselves and others only imperfectly, and seldom.
  • Lunatics are similar to designated hitters. Often an entire family is crazy, but since an entire family can't go into the hospital, one person is designated as crazy and goes inside.
    • Girl, Interrupted (1994)
  • Is this the type of friend or lover I want to have? I ask myself every time I meet someone new. Charming but shallow; good-hearted but a bit conventional; too handsome for his own good; fascinating but probably unreliable; and so forth. I guess I've had my share of unreliables. More than my share? How many would constitute more than my share?
    • Girl, Interrupted (1994)
  • In a strange way we were free. We'd reached the end of the line. We had nothing more to lose. Our privacy, our liberty, our dignity: all of this was gone and we were stripped down to the bare bones of our selves.
    • Girl, Interrupted (1994)
  • People ask, How did you get in there? What they really want to know is if they are likely to end up in there as well. I can't answer the real question. All I can tell them is, It's easy. Most people pass over incrementally, making a series of perforations in the membrane between here and there until an opening exists. And who can resist an opening?
    • Girl, Interrupted (1994)
  • I got better and Daisy didn't and I can't explain why. Maybe I was just flirting with madness the way I flirted with my teachers and classmates. I wasn't convinced I was crazy, though I feared I was. Some people say that having any conscious opinion on the matter is a mark of sanity, but I'm not sure that's true. I still think about it. I'll always have to think about it.
    • Girl, Interrupted (1994)

On Girl, InterruptedEdit

  • When women are angry at men, they call them heartless. When men are angry at women, they call them crazy.
    • Susan Cheever, "A Designated Crazy," The New York Times Book Review, June 20, 1993. (Reviewing Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted.)

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about:
Last modified on 15 April 2014, at 04:19