'The treatment of psychological disorders of all kinds and, more largely, of the deterioration of the mind, gradually made its mark in Australian novels in the early 1970s and gave rise to a series of books concerned with mental health issues. The six narratives I have selected for this study-David Ireland's The Flesheaters (1972), Walter Adamson's The Institution (1976), Peter Kocan's two you-narration novellas The Treatment (1980) and The Cure (1983), Carmel Bird's The White Garden (1995), and Amy Witting's Isobela on the Way to the Corner Shop (1999)-all partake of this new trend. This belated literary awakening to insanity is all the stranger seeing that creativity and madness have often been paired, both being particularly apt at articulating the relationship between freedom and constraint, mental representation and reality, the individual and society.' (Author's introduction)
Epigraph: [...] lunacy is richer than reason in a world in which reason has become lunatic.
-Patrick White, Letter to Jean Scott Rogers, 26. ix. 48