Winnie: My Life in the Institution: A Memoir of a Special Woman

Jamie Pastor Bolnick, Author St. Martin's Press $14.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-312-88230-3
At the core of this book is an account written by a woman who, committed to a state institution (unidentified here) at the age of six, spent her life in a struggle for selfhood. Her poignant writing, originally attempted to nullify a relative's taunt that she was retarded, is supplemented by interviews with and reflections of freelance journalist Pastor-Bolnick, whose interest in Winnie (Gwynna Sprockett) whom he first met when he was 12, developed into friendship. Winnie's own words open to the reader the stratified world of retarded men, women and children. Following her death in 1976 at the age of 44, professionals evaluating her case concluded that Winnie, the victim of societal rejection when her parents died, would not have been institutionalized today. A tragic book, full of Winnie's wonderful zestthat often got her into trouble, but makes her memorable on thesepages. November 20
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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