Fiction. Art. The broken windows of the abandoned sanitarium are foreboding and ominous, yet darkly inviting. The inmates have long since departed, but their suffering can still be felt imprinted on the stagnant air of the empty wards. The door at the front of the overgrown madhouse has been ripped from its hinges. It would be easy to cross the threshold, yet we hesitate to enter... Having spent a lifetime exploring the long-abandoned Essex Mountain Sanatorium and Overbrook Psychiatric Hospital in Northern New Jersey, Wheeler Antabanez, artist, writer, and intrepid explorer of New Jersey's abandoned and defiled places, is uniquely qualified to open doors at the Old Asylum that no one even knew existed. In these stories, illustrated with remarkably evocative paintings by the author, the broken hulk of the abandoned mental hospital comes vividly back to life, reanimated by a spirit of risk-taking, transgressive adventure, macabre humor, and the author's comprehensive artistic and personal mission to create from the ruins of our collective past an imaginative, vibrantly living whole. The book contains reproductions of a series of paintings by the author.
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Wheeler Antabanez is the author of the controversial gasstationthoughts (Barricade Books 2001), the publication of which led briefly to his arrest, and Nightshade on the Passaic (a special issue of Weird NJ magazine), which chronicles his canoe explorations of the Passaic River. Wheeler lives in a house from the 1800s which he is renovating with his wife, Sara. He has a daughter, Star Magick, of whom he is very proud. The family's pets include two dogs, three house cats, two outside feral cats, and a tarantula. Antabanez is a lifelong New Jersey resident.Author City: MONTCLAIR, NJ USA