- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
In this compassionate memoir, Dougan, humor columnist for 13 years penning "Of All Things" for the Deseret News in Utah, writes for the first time about her mentally disabled sister, Irene. After Irene was born in 1946, their parents decided that she would not be institutionalized; with no Salt Lake City support group available, the girls' father, who ran an ad agency, teamed with other parents to launch a local day care center in 1952. Dougan made that a family tradition, opening a workshop for teens and adults with mental disabilities in 1968 and serving eight years as president of the Utah Association for Retarded Citizens. To tell Irene's story, she begins with a traumatizing childhood event; when she was 12 and Irene was six, they witnessed Irene's babysitter die from a massive brain hemorrhage. The lives of the sisters intertwined: Terrell became obsessed with swimming and ice skating; Irene learned to swim and ice skate, but not to read and write. Terrell studied at Stanford and later got married and had children; Irene was sent away at age 20 to a residential school in the hope she would learn "some independence." Influenced by Benchley and Thurber, Terrell is a skilled humorist with amusing anecdotes about Irene, such as her behavior during the family's Venice vacation. Writing with honesty, she is equally impressive in relating the haunting memories of sadness and despair surrounding Irene's darker days. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.