Fiction, Health & Fitness, Mind / Body, Spirit

This collection of short stories from ‘Sydney’s hippest writer’ (Independence Jones) is a collection of his previously published short stories with a focus on mental illness, and some of his personal favorites. All of the stories are based on Fitzpatrick’s experiences with mental illness, specifically paranoid schizophrenia, and treat the mentally ill humanely. The stories are well paced and are full of twists and turns, keeping the reading fully engaged throughout them.

The stories are largely set in Aus., Australia in a parallel universe, thus allowing Fitzpatrick full rein on his highly active imagination whilst also providing clear boundaries. All of the stories are internally consistent with this setting and the warmth of the landscape is reflected in the warmth of the characters. The tales also display Fitzpatrick’s dry humor to great effect.

Denis Fitzpatrick has been writing for over thirty years and is a well received, emerging Australian writer. He is in a full remission with paranoid schizophrenia and over the past several years has chosen to write almost exclusively, and empoweringly, about mental illness and its various facets. Fitzpatrick has chosen to concentrate his fiction on the stories of the mentally ill because such people are the most genuine he has met, with simply no agenda, except to feel good and to harm none, the opposite of generally how the mentally ill are portrayed. Fitzpatrick also writes fiction for therapeutic purposes. Partly as a result of his schizophrenia, he experienced five years of homelessness (and published a book about the experience, entitled King Street Blues), and writes about various traumatic experiences he experienced during this stage of his life in order to come to grips with them. He also experienced many positive episodes during this time and portrays such in several of his short stories.