Art and Madness is a terrifying book. How can a memoir of a Smith College student who went on to marry, have a child, divorce, then remarry be terrifying? Because said woman lived in the late fifties and sixties where opportunities for bright women were abysmally limited. Because she chose to marry a writer and devote herself to his art above all, almost above her child’s welfare and certainly above her own needs and dignity. Because they lived in a haze of drugs, alcohol, even orgies (although she declined to participate to those). The book is cleverly written in something like journal entries that are not-so-randomly shuffled and is a reminder of how far we’ve moved from the cliched woman helper scenario, at least as long as women show some spine!