Use CHEER for 20% off at checkout! Free shipping on $35+ Last day for holiday shipping is 12/13.

Girls and Their Monsters

The Genain Quadruplets and the Making of Madness in America

Regular Price $29

Regular Price $37 CAD

Regular Price $29

Regular Price $37 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around June 13, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Also Available From:

Buy Now:

On Sale

Jun 13, 2023

Page Count

304 Pages

ISBN-13

9781538724477

Description

For readers of Hidden Valley Road and Patient H.M., a harrowing exploration of violence against children and its psychological and political consequences, from the author of The Unfit Heiress.

In 1954, researchers at the newly formed National Institute of Mental Health set out to study the genetics of schizophrenia. When they got word that four 24-year-old identical quadruplets in Lansing, Michigan, had all been diagnosed with the mental illness, they could hardly believe their ears. Here was incontrovertible proof of hereditary transmission and, thus, a chance to bring international fame to their fledgling institution.
 
The case of the pseudonymous Genain quadruplets, they soon found, was hardly so straightforward. Contrary to fawning media portrayals of a picture-perfect Christian family, the sisters had endured the stuff of nightmares. Behind closed doors, their parents had taken shocking measures to preserve their innocence while sowing fears of sex and the outside world. In public, the quadruplets were treated as communal property, as townsfolk and members of the press had long ago projected their own paranoid fantasies about the rapidly diversifying American landscape onto the fair-skinned, ribbon-wearing quartet who danced and sang about Christopher Columbus. Even as the sisters’ erratic behaviors became impossible to ignore and the NIMH whisked the women off for study, their sterling image did not falter.

Girls and Their Monsters chronicles the extraordinary lives of the quadruplets and the lead psychologist who studied them, asking questions that speak directly to our times: How do delusions come to take root, both in individuals and in nations? Why does society profess to be “saving the children” when it readily exploits them? What are the authoritarian ends of innocence myths? And how do people, particularly those with serious mental illness, go on after enduring the unspeakable? Can the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood help the deeply wounded heal? 

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Praise

PRAISE FOR THE UNFIT HEIRESS

"A disturbing yet thought-provoking tale of family strife and ethically unsound medical practice."—Kirkus Reviews
“This book is as timely as ever. A gripping tale about the atrocity of systematic reproductive control.”—Booklist, starred review
"In Audrey Clare Farley's book, the fascinating and unsettling case—and the worldwide media sensation it caused—is carefully revisited to expose what it meant to be considered an unfit parent and how easily family can become foes."—Town and Country
“Expertly blending biography and history, and using the life of Ann Cooper Hewitt as a backdrop, Farley has created an absorbing biography effectively explaining how the legacy of eugenics still persists today. Hewitt’s story will engage anyone interested in women’s history.”—Library Journal
The Unfit Heiress is a sensational story told with nuance and humanity with clear reverberations to the present. Historian Audrey Clare Farley's writing jumps off the page, as Ann Cooper Hewitt, once a one-dimensional tabloid fixation, is brought into full relief as a complicated victim of her time, standing in the crosshairs of the growing eugenics movement and the emergence of a "over-sexed" and "dangerous" New Woman. But most importantly, this book is a necessary call to remember the high stakes and terrible history of the longstanding fight for control over women's bodies.”—Susannah Cahalan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire
Read More Read Less