I think these writers—Sontag, Plath, Woolf—offer Lizzie an alternate reality/narrative to the one she is living. There are limits to those comforts, those narratives, clearly—they don’t provide much in the way of life skills—but there is comfort there. Immense comfort. And I think, for a woman deemed “crazy” or “ill” or deficient in some way, especially through the limited lens of medical/psychopharmo-culture—to sit in her room reading the words of other women who have navigated this culture, sort of, and failed but still—well, it’s liberating. It’s freedom of a spiritual and artistic sort, which is not traditionally considered by the medical model.
an interview with Suzanne Scanlon about the genesis of Promising Young Women.