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Women & Children First is excited to welcome Suzanne Scanlon and celebrate the release of Committed: On Meaning and Madwomen. For this event, Suzanne will be joined in conversation by Lauren Michele Jackson. 

Please note: Registration is required for this event! By registering for this event, you are verifying that you are fully vaccinated and agree to wear a face mask throughout the duration of the event. Read more about Women & Children First's Covid-19 policy here.


A raw and masterful memoir about becoming a woman and going mad—and doing both at once.
When Suzanne Scanlon was a student at Barnard in the 90s, grieving the loss of her mother—feeling untethered and swimming through inarticulable pain—she made a suicide attempt that landed her in the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
After nearly three years and countless experimental treatments, Suzanne left the ward on shaky legs. In the decades it took her to recover from the experience, Suzanne came to understand her suffering as part of something larger: a long tradition of women whose complicated and compromised stories of self-actualization are reduced to “crazy chick” and “madwoman” narratives. It was a thrilling discovery, and she searched for more books, more woman writers, as the journey of her life converged with her journey through the literature that shaped her.
Transporting, honest, and graceful, Committed is a story of discovery and recovery, reclaiming the idea of the madwoman as a template for insight and transcendence through the works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Janet Frame, Audre Lorde, Shulamith Firestone, and others.

SUZANNE SCANLON is the author of the novels Promising Young Women and Her 37th Year, An Index. Her writing has appeared in Granta, BOMB Magazine, The Iowa Review, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other places.

Lauren Michele Jackson is an assistant professor of English at Northwestern University and a contributing writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of White Negroes and the forthcoming Back.

Accessibility: This event is hosted at the bookstore, which is a wheelchair accessible space. Masks are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. To request ASL interpretation for this event, please email by no later than 14 days before the event. For other questions or access needs, please email

Event date: 
Thursday, April 18, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
5233 N Clark St
Committed: On Meaning and Madwomen By Suzanne Scanlon Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593469101
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Vintage - April 16th, 2024