‘The mixture of fire and ice would color the rest of my life’
William Jiang’s extraordinary chronicle of his life is at once arresting, horrifying, challenging and inspiring. Obviously Will Jiang is a brilliant young handsome man born prematurely to an Anglo-Saxon mother and an absentee Russian Jewish father and later adopted by his Chinese stepfather Yu Jiang: the inordinately touching memories of and tributes from his brothers Leaf, Chung, and Justice as well as comments introduced in his preface form an impressive list of people attest to the fact that this is a unique young man.
But the reason this autobiography is so deeply moving is the fact that Will Jiang was diagnosed at age 19 as a paranoid schizophrenic and given the fact that he is well educated (has earned a BA and ad Masters of Library Science, speaks four languages, served as the Columbia University/NYSPI Medical Library Chief, and has written a number of fine books), the manner in which he is able to not report as a bystander the workings of the mind sinking into psychotic depths but instead relating to the reader the feeling of that descent, treatment, horrors, and eventual recovery is nothing short of astonishing.
This book takes us by the hand and walks us through the first suggestions of mental illness, plunges us into the moment by moment nightmares that assault the mind of a schizophrenic patient, makes us feel the effects of the medications and treatments, and then beckons us into the light and his own discovery of natural nutritional techniques that help heal the brain. It is an odyssey, reading this book, but it is also a journey lead by a guide who knows each aspect of it well.
Will Jiang writes so well that it is hoped he will embrace his gift for his literary talent and continue writing major works. He is an extraordinary man who is doing more to educate the public about the world of the mentally ill victims while providing a brilliant beacon of hope. Highly Recommended.
TITLE: A SCHIZOPHRENIC WILL: A STORY OF MADNESS, A STORY OF HOPE
AUTHOR: WILLIAM JIANG