cover image Ben Behind His Voices

Ben Behind His Voices

Randye Kaye, narrated by the author. Spoken Word, unabridged, 10 CDs, 12.5 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-61861-898-6

When Randye Kaye’s high school age son, Ben, shows symptoms of what will eventually be diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia, it is at once exasperating, befuddling, and deeply frightening for Kaye’s family. There is no true recovery from schizophrenia, and Ben goes through numerous treatments, hospitalizations (five alone in 2001), and even a period of homelessness. This extremely affecting memoir is made more potent by author Randye Kaye’s background as a professional voice actor. Besides providing crisp, brisk narration, Kaye is exceptional at creating a sense of intimacy with listeners. We hear in Kaye’s performance her simmering frustration as Ben begins to act out in unexpected ways, her confusion as Ben’s symptoms often inexplicably change, her motherly concern during Ben’s moments of sudden vulnerability, and her sadness when she realizes that Ben’s schizophrenia will be a permanent aspect of both his life and his family’s. A Rowman & Littlefield hardcover. (Sept.)