What reviewers are saying about
by Leora Skolkin-Smith

"Hystera is a haunting, mesmerizing story of madness, longing and identity, set against one of the most fascinating times in NYC history. Skolkin-Smith's alchemy is to inhabit her characters even as she crafts a riveting story that is nothing short of brilliant."

– Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You

“In language with the wild power of accuracy, Hystera maps a path through the landscape of trauma and illness, the feverish news of the seventies, and a character’s own indelibly vivid imagery of alarm and comfort.

An eye-opening novel.”

– Joan Silber, author of Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories, finalist for the National Book Award

"Leora Skolkin-Smith's new novel, Hystera, provides a very vivid sense of being in the head of someone having a psychotic breakdown, and is a powerfully useful reference book for dealing with the mental-health system. It also pungently evokes the gritty New York of the '70s."

– Robert Whitcomb, The Providence Journal

“Leora Skolkin-Smith's novel Hystera is an unforgettable story of mental illness. Set in the New York City of the 1970s, the book is told in precise language that sears the characters into your consciousness.”

Largehearted Boy

“I loved this book because it was about a writer, of course. But I also loved it because of the writing itself – the amazing techniques that can be observed – learned from – if the reader doesn't get too caught up in the forward motion of the story and the tone of the book not to pay attention.”

– Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Red Room

“One of those novels that gets you in the first few sentences; you know you are in for something completely unique and interesting in only a few seconds…. A great and interesting read for sure, and one I highly recommend.”

Veronica MD

“Tragically beautiful.”


“I highly recommend this book. The writing is outstanding and I was completely hooked from the very start until the end…. It’s a short but powerful read that will stick with you and have you thinking about it long after you have finished the book.”

Life in Review

“You can't help but be taken in with Lillian's story.  I don't want to reveal too much, because I do believe that this a book you must experience for yourself.”

    – A Bookish Way of Life

“Leora Skolkin-Smith has written a fascinating novel about one woman’s descent into mental illness and her struggle to feel whole.”

    – The House of the Seven Tails

“Tragically beautiful.”


“Hystera plunges me into Lilly’s world, lets me see it through her eyes, let’s me become Lilly and look at a world I’m not familiar with. It left me thinking of Lilly. Days later, I can’t get her out of my head.”

Terry Marshall Fiction