My Lie: A True Story of False Memory / Edition 1

My Lie: A True Story of False Memory / Edition 1

by Meredith Maran
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0470502142

ISBN-13: 2900470502142

Pub. Date: 09/14/2010

Publisher: Wiley

My Lie

"To admit a grave sin committed against a loved one is hard. To be able to write about it with honesty and grace is extraordinary. My Lie tells a story no reader will—or should—forget."
KATHRYN HARRISON, author of The Kiss

Meredith Maran lived a daughter's nightmare. At age thirty-seven, an award-winning

Overview

My Lie

"To admit a grave sin committed against a loved one is hard. To be able to write about it with honesty and grace is extraordinary. My Lie tells a story no reader will—or should—forget."
KATHRYN HARRISON, author of The Kiss

Meredith Maran lived a daughter's nightmare. At age thirty-seven, an award-winning journalist and mother of two, she accused her father of sexual abuse. Ten years later she realized, nearly too late, that he was innocent.

She wasn't alone. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, beginning with the infamous McMartin preschool trial, a sex-abuse panic spread across the country. Tens of thousands of Americans became convinced that they'd repressed memories of unspeakable childhood sexual abuse. Preschool teachers, fathers, even mothers were falsely accused. Communities and families were devastated. Some perpetrators were rightly punished, but hundreds of innocents were sent to jail. Several remain imprisoned today.

Maran's accusation and estrangement from her father caused her sons to grow up without their only grandfather, dividing her family into those who believed her and those who didn't. She isolated herself on "Planet Incest," where "survivors" flocked to therapy—devoting their lives, and life savings, to "recovering" memories of events that had never occurred.

This no-holds-barred excavation of Maran's past raises questions of vital importance to us all. How did Maran, and so many others, come to believe the same lie at the same time? How does the brain collude with the culture to create false memories and encode false beliefs? What are the "big lies" gaining traction in America today—and how can we keep them from taking hold?

My Lie is the wrenchingly honest, profoundly human story of the impact of this modern-day witch hunt on one woman's life and family: a daughter's search for understanding; a journalist's intimate portrait of a shameful episode in American history.

"I accused my father of molesting me. I didn't see him or talk to him for eight years. I didn't let my kids see him for eight years, either. And then I realized that it wasn't true."

". . . my eighty-year-old father had been diagnosed with atherosclerosis, diabetes, depression, and Alzheimer's disease. With the possible exception of the diabetes, I blamed myself for all of it."

". . . suddenly, pretending it hadn't happened wasn't an option anymore."
From the Prologue

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900470502142
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
09/14/2010
Pages:
272

Table of Contents

Author's Note.

Prologue: The Same Thing Happened to Me.

Introduction: One in Three.

Part One 1576-1982.

Chapter One Desperate Housewife.

Chapter Two In Feminism We Trust.

Part Two 1983-1993.

Chapter Three Please Question Your Child (and Your Childhood).

Chapter Four Breaking the Silence.

Chapter Five Daddy Can't Come Home Again.

Chapter Six Remember.

Chapter Seven Did He or Didn't He?

Chapter Eight In Therapy We Trust.

Part Three 1994-2009.

Chapter Nine Doubt.

Chapter Ten Deprogramming.

Chapter Eleven What Was I Thinking?

Chapter Twelve Eternal Sunshine of the Recovered Mind.

Chapter Thirteen In Neuroscience We Trust.

Chapter Fourteen Amends.

Epilogue: Grace.

Acknowledgments.

About the Author.

Book Group Reading Guide.

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