Karen Winters Schwartz

Karen Winters Schwartz was born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio. She wrote her first truly good story at age seven. Her second-grade teacher, Mrs. Schneider, publicly and falsely accused her of plagiarism. She did not write again for 40 years.

Educated at Ohio State University, both Ms. Schwartz and her husband have shared a career in optometry in Central New York's Finger Lakes while raising two daughters together. 

Ms. Schwartz is the president of NAMI Syracuse (National Alliance on Mental Illness), a strong advocate for mental illness awareness, and a sought-after speaker at health association events and conferences across the country. Ms. Schwartz knows firsthand the devastation that mental illness can wreak on a family. She has talked to hundreds of families who have dealt with the frustration of a broken mental health care system. She has experienced the price of stigma and has felt the isolation that ignorance, misunderstanding, and judgment can inflict on everyone involved. She knows how these misconceptions delay and thwart necessary treatment—at its best leading to loss of jobs, productivity, and relationships, at its worst leading to tragedies such as suicide, violence, and mass murder. She has also experienced the joy of the recovery of a loved one, stressing early detection and treatment as the key to this success.

Her widely praised novel on mental illness, Reis’s Pieces: Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia was released by Goodman Beck Publishing in the spring of 2012. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut, Where Are the Cocoa Puffs?: A Family’s Journey Through Bipolar Disorder, Reis’s Pieces is not only an honest and engaging story but also an advocacy tool, an educational tool, and a comfort to those dealing directly and indirectly with mental illness.

Through her books Ms. Schwartz opens up discussions about the need for empathy and the impact of the negative stigma associated with these neurobiological brain disorders. Through literature, she educates while entertaining, elicits empathy while telling a great story, and advocates by reaching those who just don’t “get it.”

 

Book Reviews by Karen Winters Schwartz

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“refreshing and entertaining, perfect for that warm beach or cozy fireplace.”

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Sex.

The three-letter word that gets everyone’s attention.

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“a perfect summer read.”

The Sweetheart Deal is a solid first novel by Polly Dugan, which in spite of the sweetness of the title, never strays toward sappiness.

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“You don’t need to be a hunter or even a man to enjoy this exceptional memoir.”

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Ambassador Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, who quickly becomes “Madam Ambassador,” starts her memoir with a bang. Shortly after starting her post as the first Greek-American to serve as a U.S.

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“For those who want to understand the inner workings of a self-mutilator, Sharp is an excellent read.

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Social Security Works! knocks . . . the mainstream belief that Social Security is going broke, to its knees.”

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The Price of Silence is a concise, heartfelt addition to books about mental illness.”

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Shot in the Head is an important addition to the collection of enlightening and educational works that encompass the heartache and reward of loving a family member with severe men

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“There may be serious disagreement on how mental illness services should be organized and funded, but what’s now in place is insufficient at best.

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“. . . a thought-provoking, inspiring journey and an important and welcome addition to the world of self-help books.”­­­

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“Ndibe’s writing is sharp. The pacing is excellent. His characters are well-developed. The novel is culturally and politically significant. . . .

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“The extent of Dr. John Henry Fleming’s literary range is unmistakable in this slight little book.

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“And this, Osgood warns, is the problem with the standard treatment of this disorder: placing a vulnerable needy anorexic smack down in the middle of other vulnerable needy anorexics is a r

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In spite of the bad taste left by the last one-third of the book, the depth and the magnetism and the humor of Eric Charles May’s truly unforgettable characters makes this

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“. . . a quick, beautiful read that will draw out joy just as quickly as sadness, [embracing] both the misery and the magic of marriage.”

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“. . . a book that must be read, contemplated, and then read again.”

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Doing Time Outside refers to the painful and difficult period of time spent by a family member or friend of a person incarcerated in a correctional facility.

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“. . . a good source for learning about schizophrenia and its effects on family members.”

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“. . . masterful, eloquent, and biting . . .”

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Kevin Hines jumped from Golden Gate Bridge at the age of 19 with the intention of never being able to write again.

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Reading Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience is a bit like reading one really long college research paper—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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“Read this novel not to be entertained by the story, but to be awed by the beauty of the words.”

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“. . . ahead of many in its class.”

There is something about Sophie Shepard.

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“. . . the writing—in spite of its publisher’s description of the work as a literary novel—comes off as stilted and repetitive . . .”

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“Honest, but lacking any true meat or bite, . . . marred with typos . . .”

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“. . . reading this novel is like—exquisite torture.”
“I exist!”

“I will prove it to you!”