Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into A Family Secret by Steve LuxenbergAnnie's Ghosts: A Journey Into A Family Secret by Steve Luxenberg

Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into A Family Secret

bySteve Luxenberg

Paperback | May 11, 2010

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  • The Great Michigan Read 2013-14
  • Michigan Notable Book for 2010
  • AWashington Post Book World's"Best Books of 2009," Memoir
Beth Luxenberg was an only child. Or so everyone thought. Six months after Beth's death, her secret emerged. It had a name: Annie.
Steve Luxenberg's mother always told people she was an only child. It was a fact that he'd grown up with, along with the information that some of his relatives were Holocaust survivors. However, when his mother was dying, she casually mentioned that she had had a sister she'd barely known, who early in life had been put into a mental institution. Luxenberg began his researches after his mother's death, discovering the startling fact that his mother had grown up in the same house with this sister, Annie, until her parents sent Annie away to the local psychiatric hospital at the age of 23.

Annie would spend the rest of her life shut away in a mental institution, while the family erased any hints that she had ever existed. Through interviews and investigative journalism, Luxenberg teases out her story from the web of shame and half-truths that had hidden it. He also explores the social history of institutions such as Eloise in Detroit, where Annie lived, and the fact that in this era (the 40s and 50s), locking up a troubled relative who suffered from depression or other treatable problems was much more common than anyone realizes today.
Steve Luxenberghas been a senior editor with theWashington Postfor 20 years. He lives in Baltimore, MD. This is his first book.
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Title:Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into A Family SecretFormat:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1 inPublished:May 11, 2010Publisher:Hachette BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1401310192

ISBN - 13:9781401310196

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"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