Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family

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Author: Kolker, Robert

Color: Multicolor

Edition: Reprint

Binding: Paperback

Number Of Pages: 400

Release Date: 02-03-2021

Part Number: part_0525562648

Details: Product Description #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • ONE OF GQ's TOP 50 BOOKS OF LITERARY JOURNALISM IN THE 21st CENTURY • The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease. "Reads like a medical detective journey and sheds light on a topic so many of us face: mental illness." —Oprah Winfrey Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations. With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope. Amazon.com Review Early in Hidden Valley Road, Robert Kolker observes that, “For a family, schizophrenia is, primarily, a felt experience, as if the foundation of the family is permanently tilted in the direction of the sick family member.” There is no greater testament to the truth of that observation than Don and Mimi Galvin’s twelve children: six of their sons were diagnosed with schizophrenia, starting with their eldest son who was diagnosed in his late teens, by which time five of his brothers were also breaking down. With six family members mentally ill with a disease about which medical opinion shifted every few years, the foundation of the Galvin family didn’t so much tilt as tip over. Kolker does an outstanding job of reportage on all fronts: the chronology of the Galvin boys’ breakdowns, the effects on their parents, and critically, on the siblings who did not become mentally ill, growing up in a household utterly defined, internally and externally, by the mental illness that rampaged through the family. Kolker also deftly weaves the history of diagnosing and treating schizophrenia into the narrative; it’s cold comfort that the Galvin family became “a monumental case study in humanity’s most perplexing disease.” Robert Kolker’s Hidden Valley Road takes an astonishing, heartrending story and elevates it with empathy and superb storytelling. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Review Review ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR ONE OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR PEOPLE'S #1 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR , TIME, Slate, Smithsonian, The New York Post, and Amazon  “ Hidden Valley Road is a riveting true story of an American family that reads like a medical detective journey and sheds light on a topic so many of us face: mental illness.” —Oprah Winfrey “A feat of empathy and narrative journalism.” —Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times   “Magisterial . . . A weave o

EAN: 9780525562641

Package Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches

Languages: English

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