Live on Zoom! Robert Kolker, in conversation with Susannah Cahalan - Hidden Valley Road

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OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER


ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR


ONE OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR


PEOPLE'S #1 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR


Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, TIME, Slate, Smithsonian, and The New York Post

 

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

 

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?
 

What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations. With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope.

 

Robert Kolker is the New York Times bestselling author of Lost Girls, named one of the New York Times‘s 100 Notable Books and one of Publishers Weekly‘s Top Ten Books of 2013. Most recently, he is the author of Hidden Valley Road, a #1 New York Times Bestseller and an Oprah’s Book Club Pick. As a journalist, his work has appeared in New York magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, O Magazine, and Men’s Journal. He is a National Magazine Award finalist and a recipient of the 2011 Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

 

Susannah Cahalan is an award-winning #1 New York Times bestselling author, journalist, and public speaker. Her 2012 memoir, Brain on Fire has sold over a million copies and was made into a Netflix original movie. Her second book, The Great Pretender, which investigates the legendary 1973 Science paper “On Being Sane in Insane Places,” made an array of “Best-Of” lists and was shortlisted for the 2020 Royal Society’s Science Book Award. She has written for The New York Times, The New York Post, Elle, The New Scientist, and BBC’s Focus, as well as academic journals The Lancet and Biological Psychiatry. She lectures at universities and conferences around the world and currently works as an adjunct lecturer at New York University, teaching narratives in mental health care. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

 

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