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Annie's Ghosts


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About the Author

Steve Luxenberg has been a senior editor with the Washington Post for 20 years. He lives in Baltimore, MD. This is his first book.


When Washington Post senior editor Luxenberg's mother passed away, the family discovered that she had a sister, Annie, who was confined to a mental institution in 1940, when she was 21. Along with 5000 others, Annie's existence was treated as a shameful secret, until she was nearly forgotten entirely. Luxenberg uses his tools as an investigative journalist to unearth the circumstances surrounding Annie's commitment and in doing so sheds welcome light on a heartbreaking chapter in American history. A fascinating detective story that will appeal to anyone who has ever had a family member with mental illness or had their assumptions about family tested by a secret revealed.-Elizabeth Brinkley, Granite Falls, WA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Annie's Ghosts is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read . . . From mental institutions to the Holocaust, from mothers and fathers to children and childhood, with its mysteries, sadness, and joy--this book is one emotional ride."--Bob Woodward, author of The War Within and State of Denial
"I started reading within minutes of picking up this book, and was instantly mesmerized. It's a riveting detective story, a moving family saga, an enlightening if heartbreaking chapter in the history of America's treatment of people born with what we now call special needs."--Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don't Understand and You're Wearing That?
"This is a memoir that pushes the journalistic envelope . . . Luxenberg has written a fascinating personal story as well as a report on our communal response to the mentally ill."--Helen Epstein, author of Where She Came From and Children of the Holocaust

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