Imagining Robert: My Brother, Madness, and Survival : A Memoir

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9780688149680: Imagining Robert: My Brother, Madness, and Survival : A Memoir

A novelist offers a touching and uplifting tale of love as he explains the joys and difficulties involved in having a relationship with his mentally ill brother

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Review:

Imagining Robert is an account of Robert Neugeboren's 30-year history of mental illness. In this moving memoir, his brother Jay describes the tragedy of psychosis and illustrates the redemptive power of writing. The author imagines his brother as two people--one hospitalized, the other communicative and lucid--and crafts a story of his brother's thoughts by weaving together Robert's exquisitely written letters about this unfolding family tragedy. The instability of the author's own children and his manipulative mother's affliction with Alzheimer's disease multiply the pressure he feels, threatening his own mental health. His careful words seem an attempt to organize the confusion around him. The imagined friendship with the brother he lovingly cares for serves as an important source of self-examination. Neugeboren's prose restores his brother's dignity by refusing to let the details of how Robert has suffered in psychiatric institutions go unrecorded.

From the Publisher:

This heart-rending and ultimately uplifting memoir tells the story of two brothers - one a prize-winning novelist; the other an extraordinarily witty, intelligent man who has suffered the ravages of chronic mental illness for more than three decades - and how their love for one another has enabled them not only to survive, but to thrive in miraculous, surprising ways.

In the literature of mental illness, Imagining Robert is the first book to tell us what it is like for the millions of families who must cope over the course of a lifetime with a problem for which, most of the time, there is no solution.

This is a memoir by one man of another man's life - a brutally honest, deeply tender tale without a familiar (or predictable) happy ending. It gives us something better: an unforgettable story of two brothers that heartens by showing us how even the grimmest of lives can be sustained and graced by the power of love.

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Jay Neugeboren
Published by William Morrow & Co (1997)
ISBN 10: 0688149685 ISBN 13: 9780688149680
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Neugeboren, Jay
Published by William Morrow & Co (1997)
ISBN 10: 0688149685 ISBN 13: 9780688149680
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Book Description William Morrow & Co, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110688149685

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