“The Lives They Left Behind is a deeply shifting testomony to the human facet of psychological sickness, and of the slim margin which so steadily separates the sane from the mad. This can be a outstanding portrait, too, of the lifetime of a psychiatric asylum—such a group by which, for higher and for worse, loads of lots of other folks lived out their lives. Darby Penney and Peter Stastny’s cautious historic (virtually archaeological) and biographical reconstructions supply us distinctive perception into those lives which might differently be misplaced and, certainly, not possible to the remainder of us.” —Oliver Sacks

“Interesting. . . . The haunting factor in regards to the suitcase house owners is that it’s really easy to spot with them.” —Newsweek

When Willard State Health facility closed its doorways in 1995, after running as considered one of New York State’s greatest psychological establishments for over 120 years, a forgotten attic stuffed with suitcases belonging to former sufferers was once found out. The usage of the possessions present in those suitcases at the side of institutional information and docs’ notes from affected person periods, Darby Penney, a number one recommend of sufferers’ rights, and Peter Stastny, a psychiatrist and documentary filmmaker, had been in a position to reconstruct the lives of ten sufferers who resided at Willard all the way through the primary part of the 20th century.

The Lives They Left Behind tells their tale. Along with those human graphics, the ebook accommodates over 100 images in addition to helpful historic historical past on how this state-funded establishment operated. Because it restores the humanity of the folks it so poignantly inspires, The Lives They Left Behind unearths the huge historic inadequacies of a psychiatric gadget that has but to heal itself.