How We Got Barb Back: The Story of My Sister's Reawakening After 30 Years of Schizophrenia

Overview


Margaret Hawkins spent her girlhood dazzled by her vivacious, high-achieving sister, Barb. Younger than Barb by eleven years, Margaret saw her sister as the star of her family. And no wonder. Barb's high school years were filled with achievement inside and outside of the classroom. After college, Barb married a charming young professor, Karim Shallal, and embraced living abroad with him, when he was offered a full professorship at Basra University in Iraq. That was in 1971.

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How We Got Barb Back: The Story of My Sister's Reawakening After 30 Years of Schizophrenia

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Overview


Margaret Hawkins spent her girlhood dazzled by her vivacious, high-achieving sister, Barb. Younger than Barb by eleven years, Margaret saw her sister as the star of her family. And no wonder. Barb's high school years were filled with achievement inside and outside of the classroom. After college, Barb married a charming young professor, Karim Shallal, and embraced living abroad with him, when he was offered a full professorship at Basra University in Iraq. That was in 1971.

In three years, everything changed. As Margaret Hawkins writes in her new book, How We Got Barb Back: The Story of My Sister's Reawakening after 30 Years of Schizophrenia, "On a promising day in 1974, my family's life blew up. That was the day my beautiful, bright, and very American older sister returned from Iraq. Something had changed during those years she was gone, and the Barb we knew never really returned. That Barb had vanished, and though her husband tried to bring her home, she was already gone."

Unimaginable as it might seem, for the next 32 years Barb went undiagnosed and untreated. How We Got Barb Back recounts the story of those years and the steps Margaret Hawkins took to bring her sister back from the depths of crippling mental illness. This story of sisterly love is both full of surprises and profoundly inspiring.

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  • How We Got Barb Back
    How We Got Barb Back  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A moving yet down-to-earth portrayal of what's it like to live with a serious mental illness. Hawkins affirms the hope of recovery for millions of others like Barb." -Linda Rosenberg, MSW, President and CEO, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

"What we see so vividly through these pages is that mental illness is treatable, the biggest obstacle being fear and ignorance." -Richard K Baer, MD, author of Switching Time

"Lives that seem so promising and so hopeful can be forever changed by mental illness, but How We Got Barb Back shows us that the change isn't necessarily forever and that there is so much reason to hope." -Alison K. Malmon, founder and executive director, Active Minds, Inc.

"This is a heartwarming story of a family's struggle to come to terms with severe mental illness and find hope and love on the other side. What it shows us, once again, is that most of what we think we know about mental illness is just plain wrong." -Mark Vonnegut

"This rare story should inspire America's 3 million affected families to keep the faith." -Patrick Tracey, author of Stalking Irish Madness: Searching for the Roots of My Family's Schizophrenia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573244770
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,124,272
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Margaret Hawkins teaches writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was an art critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for more than two decades. She is also a Chicago correspondent for ARTnews. Her essays have appeared in a variety of national publications. Her debut novel, A Year of Cats and Dogs, published last year to strong reviews and her new novel, How to Survive a Natural Disaster, publishes this fall.

Carolyn S. Spiro, MD is a co-author of Divided Minds.

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Read an Excerpt


From the Foreword:

"My advice: Read this book. If your light isn't blown into flame after reading it the first time, Read It Again. Then, buy it for a friend. As a thank you gift." -Carolyn Spiro, MD, author of Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Uhh

    To damn expensive

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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