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Northern Michigan Asylum

How Thin the Veil, by Jack Kerkhoff

"So this is my homecoming. This is my return to the town where I spent the happiest days of my youth. Picture a slightly decrepit, snow-covered state hospital. A depressed writer checks himself into the asylum and is placed in the ward for alcoholics and the mildly insane. Under the care of a wise and patient, chain-smoking doctor, our hero examines his suicidal motivations, while at the same time keeping a writer's eye on the inmates and their almost universal malady of "woman trouble." As the snow comes down and Christmas nears, "woman trouble" takes on new meaning when the author falls in love with beautiful, child-like Suzy from Ward Eleven.This memoir, originally published in 1952, takes a hard-boiled look at mental health treatment before the collapse of the state-sponsored system. Bawdy, inappropriate, deeply romantic and rich in captivating characters, How Thin the Veil takes the love story to where it's never been before.

ISBN#9781943995196                                                                   $16.95


Admissions, by Jennifer Sowle

Stripped, showered and drugged, Luanne Kilpi's life as wife and mother is turned upside-down as she enters the world of the insane. After her attempted suicide following the death of her three-year-old son, Luanne is admitted to the Traverse State Hospital where she now lives with locked doors, long hallways, gowns, moans and shouts, restraints, pills, little fluted cups and a sparse tiny bedroom. She is an admission. On Hall 5, the reader is introduced to the group of young women who become Luanne's friends and support. We see the realities of their conditions and watch them struggle through muddled emotions to make sense of their world. Author Jennifer Sowle's lyrical prose illuminates Luanne's raw emotions of overwhelming grief as she struggles on her journey from despair to hope. Set on the expansive grounds of the State Hospital, vivid imagery brings to life a cast of characters from the duty nurses to the groundskeeper to the chronically ill patients. This is a book that makes you stand up and cheer for the resiliency of the human spirit.

ISBN#9781933926247                                                                    $19.95



Angels in the ARCHITECTURE, by Heidi Johnson

This series of photographs documents and illuminates some of the most significant nineteenth-century architecture still left standing in the state of Michigan.  Many structures at the Northern Michigan Asylum site have been demolished, but those left standing are now being preserved.  Buildings of this grace, grandeur, and detail will never be build again, and the sense of urgency to preserve them is real.

ISBN#9780814332122                                           $29.95


Beauty is Therapy, by Earle Steele and Kristen M. Hains

From horse-drawn wagon rides to school through five decades of tending majestic trees at the gothic Traverse City State Hospital, Earle Steele colorfully and compassionately shares tales of life and how it was lived at The Asylum, a city-within-a-city that once housed 5,000 mentally ill patients.  In a series of letters to his granddaughter, this groundskeeper’s son recounts a childhood of befriending patients and his years as gardener, grounds superintendent and museum curator at an institution where the dictum was “beauty is therapy.”

ISBN#9780970477804                                                                    $10.95



Northern Michigan Asylum, by William Decker, M.D.

A comprehensive history of the third Asylum built in the State of Michigan in 1885, the Traverse City State Hospital. Author William Decker, M.D. researched the location of historic buildings, hospital personnel and administrators, patient treatment modalities, the spacious grounds and extensive tree plantings, livestock barns used at the hospital farm and interesting trivia and incidents. This most ambitious and complete book contains more than 100 historic photos and illustrations, footnotes and an index.

ISBN#9781933926254                                               $50.00


Traverse City State Hospital, by Chris Miller

This book traces the history of this great institution, from the local and mental health context in which it was founded, through its growth, development, and decline, and finally to its renovation and preservation as a vital part of the Traverse City community.  More than 200 photographs and images are provided, including many of the features and buildings long gone.

ISBN#9780738533896                                                                       $21.99


The Locked Garden

The Locked Garden, By Gloria Whelan

It's the year 1900, the dawn of a new century and a chance for a new beginning for Verna and Carlie, whose mother died two years ago. They are headed to their new home—the grounds of an asylum for the mentally ill. Their father, a doctor, has been hired to treat its patients while the girls are under the strict and watchful eye of their aunt Maude. The towering asylum, the murmuring patients with their tormented pasts, the exquisite locked garden at the center of the grounds—Verna perceives forbidden mystery and enchantment everywhere. Even Aunt Maude's temper will not keep her from striking out on her own exciting adventures. But is Verna ready to confront all the secrets and emotions that have been locked within—even those of her own heart?

ISBN #9780060790943                                                                        $15.99



Traverse City State Hospital Training School for Nurses, By Virginia M. Leclare

This volume tells the story of the Traverse City State Hospital Training School for Nurses. The doors opened in 1906 and were closed in 1947. Over four hundred students graduated from this institution. You will meet them and the families from which they came. You will also witness the effects of the political and health concerns of the day on their lives, and learn about the variouRs paths they chose to travel after graduating. Virginia LeClaire has preserved the stories of the graduates of the Traverse City State Hospital Training School for Nurses for generations to come. The ingenuity and determination of these early nurse leaders is an inspiration to nurses everywhere. This book is a marvelous gift to both nurses and residents of the Traverse City area. --Maureen Anthony, PhD, RN, Nurse Educator, University of Detroit-Mercy

Book only available in store.                                                                $20.00

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