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Examined Lives: A No-Holds-Barred Look at Mental Illness


Chicago, IL, August 09, 2018 --( How did a vivacious, competent woman end up having a lobotomy at the hands of the doctor who famously botched the operation on Rosemary Kennedy and what effect did this have on her young daughter? This is the focus of the just released memoir "Examined Lives" by Roberta Reb Allen (ISBN 978-1-4808-6319-4, 308 pages, 6"x 9", $37.95, also available in softcover and Kindle editions).

"Examined Lives" is an unusually frank look at mental illness, based on extensive research, medical records and abundant family documents. It explores the familial and social forces that both help create and alleviate mental illness. The book is the first to give voice to a female lobotomy patient and her daughter; all previous such narratives concerned males.

"Examined Lives" aims to draw back the curtain and confront the stigma associated with mental illness. Its story is as relevant today as when the lobotomy craze was at its height. There is considerable interest in electrical stimulation of the brain and an outburst of research on neurotechnology. As The Economist stated in reporting on this: "Beneath the skull lies the next frontier." Walter Freeman, the lobotomist, thought so too.

Ms. Allen has had a long writing and editing career, producing works for hire. She holds a M.A. in History from the University of Chicago and is an Associate Member of the Independent Writers of Chicago.

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Roberta Reb Allen

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Roberta Reb Allen
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