Sylvia Frumkin

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Sylvia Frumkin is the pseudonym given for the schizophrenic subject of Susan Sheehan's 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Is There No Place On Earth For Me?, first published serially in The New Yorker. A quotation from the book, giving some of her dialog, gives some of the general flavor of her behavior:

"There's no such thing as schizophrenia, there's only mental telepathy. I once had a friend named Camilla Costello. She was Abbott and Costello's daughter. She said to me, 'You know, Sylvia, I have a lot of friends, but you're my best friend.' I'm working here. I'm an intern at Creedmoor. I'm in the Pentecostal Church, but I'm thinking of changing my religion. I have a dog at home. I love instant oatmeal. When you have Jesus, you don't need a diet. Mick Jagger wants to marry me. I want to get out the revolving door. With Jesus Christ, anything is possible. I used to hit my mother. It was the hyperactivity from all the cookies I ate. I'm the personification of Casper the Friendly Ghost. I used to go outside asking the other kids to be my friend when I was little. California's the most beautiful state in the Union. I've been there once, by television. My name is Jack Warden, and I'm an actress."

As a result of the publication of her history, she was given more effective treatment. Nonetheless, she continued to go in and out of mental hospitals and died in 1994, according to a follow-up article in The New Yorker titled "The Last Days of Sylvia Frumkin". The same article disclosed her legal name as Maxine Mason, sister of U.S. Democratic Party activist Trudy Mason.