Trying to Get Some Dignity: Stories of Triumph Over Childhood Abuse

Richard Rhodes, Author, Ginger Rhodes, With William Morrow & Company $25 (368p) ISBN 978-0-688-14096-0
This eloquent, moving forum grew out of the letters Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Richard Rhodes received in response to his 1990 memoir, A Hole in the World, his account of surviving childhood abuse inflicted by his stepmother. He and his wife here present interviews with 18 abuse survivors, augmented by childhood photographs on the scarring effects of incest, family violence, neglect, silence and denial. Many of these people were victims of sexual molestation; others endured sadistic punishment, repeated beatings, verbal assaults. The abuser was just as often a mother or a father as it was a stepparent. Some survived by taking charge of as much of their lives as they could claim; others kept their sanity through nurturing fantasies, creative play or writing. They searchingly discuss the daily coping with their childhood traumas' lasting effects: suicidal impulses, self-destructiveness, emotional armoring, bad choices of partners, addictions. Their stories radiate inner strength, courage and mature insight. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1996
Release date: 10/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-688-16109-5
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