Sollars studied psychology in college in the 1960s but never thought about a career in nursing, as the idea of blood and sickness made her stomach churn. After the Vietnam War, the U.S. government, recognizing the shortage of nurses and social workers, offered funding for anyone who was interested in those professions. As a single mom who was dissatisfied with the jobs she’d held, Sollars applied for social work. She scored high on the test only to find that the funding was in limbo and that she might have to wait two years before she could begin her schooling. Her father encouraged her to train as a nurse for psychiatric patients. Sollars began her training, and within her first two months, she witnessed a patient’s psychotic break. Many of the events that she relates in this book would unnerve most people—such as patients self-harming or experiencing hallucinations—and although she was frightened at times, Sollars impressively held out, working to help tortured individuals whom other people wished to forget. The author shows how the taboo against mental illness was all too real; early on in her career, for example, she faced people who didn’t want to admit that their family members were suffering from illness and instead chalked up their behavior to drug use. Sollars, however, wasn’t willing to stand by and do nothing about this. Instead, she wrote a proposal, later approved, for a program to help family members understand their loved ones’ conditions. Sollars demonstrates her commitment to her patients throughout each chapter of her memoir, and her accessible language and detailed scenarios reconstruct the horror, surprise, empathy, and confusion of working in a mental illness ward. At the same time, Sollars never sensationalizes her patients. In many ways, her memoir is a remarkable timeline of the treatment of mental illness in the past 40 years, and it’s a triumphant account of her boldness as a mother, nurse, and woman. At a time when mental health is in the forefront of conversations about our health care system, her story is one of hope.
A remembrance that beautifully underscores the severity and complexities of mental health issues.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)