Both written under pseudonym, Constance Newland’s My Self and I (1962) and Jane Dunlap’s Exploring Inner Space (1961) are firsthand accounts of psychedelic drug use taken in therapeutic research settings that demonstrate how women’s access to discursive legitimacy was negotiated in mid-twentieth-century life-writing. Newland and Dunlap use realism to connect readers to their psychedelic subjects, while estranging readers’ familiar worldviews through metaphor. Through reader recognition and estrangement, Newland and Dunlap develop readers’ empathy as a reformist tool to challenge standard narratives of literature and science and carve out new representational space for alternative states of consciousness.