The Voices of Robby Wilde

Overview


An engrossing, often disturbing, look into the inner life of a paranoid schizophrenic, The Voices of Robby Wilde has greatly advanced the popular understanding of mental illness since its first publication in 1987. Robby Wilde heard his first "voice" when he was nine years old--a man's voice clearly saying, "I've got you!" With increasing frequency and intensity, such hostile uttering would vex Wilde for the rest of his life, distorting his behavior and shattering his ...
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Overview


An engrossing, often disturbing, look into the inner life of a paranoid schizophrenic, The Voices of Robby Wilde has greatly advanced the popular understanding of mental illness since its first publication in 1987. Robby Wilde heard his first "voice" when he was nine years old--a man's voice clearly saying, "I've got you!" With increasing frequency and intensity, such hostile uttering would vex Wilde for the rest of his life, distorting his behavior and shattering his self-esteem.

Some ten years before his death at age fifty-three, Wilde asked his friend Elizabeth Kytle to write about his affliction. Ranging in time from Wilde's youth in rural North Carolina to his impoverished last days in Columbus, Ohio, Kytle chronicles the slow unraveling and final breakdown of a life. Different views of Wilde, his illness, and his struggle to live and work as a "normal" person come forth in a series of twice-told tales; accounts based on Wilde's own recollections alternate with sometimes vastly differing reports of the same incidents by friends, family members, coworkers, and others who knew and cared about him.

Wilde's story, heightened by his longing to be understood and his acute grasp of his own situation, will challenge readers to new levels of respect and compassion for the mentally ill.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Told not just with incisive knowledge but the deepest compassion and understanding."--Norman Cousins

"Extremely well-written. Robby's striving to live and work a normal life despite his illness raises him from being a common man to a more lofty station."--E. Fuller Torrey, author of Surviving Schizophrenia

“Kytle has done an excellent job of educating the public about the severe form of mental illness that is paranoid schizophrenia. Beautifully written and easy to read, I can recommend this book for a wide range of readers, from young adults to professionals."--Peter A. Martin, psychiatrist

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kytle, author of Willie Mae, notes that she was requested by the late Robby Wildehe died in 1974, a middle-aged manto relate the story of his paranoid schizophrenia. She here disguises his real name, as well as locales and the people she interviewed about him. He emerges from this account as extraordinarily intelligent, well read and gifted; two of his poems are printed in the book. But Wilde's life was blighted by ``voices'' that tormented him incessantly. He lost jobs and friendships because of his puzzling behavior, despite his efforts to be ``normal.'' His story broadens our understanding of mental illness and leaves readers dismayed by society's treatment of the afflicted. 5000 first printing. September 14
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820317151
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 1,009,516
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author


Elizabeth Kytle resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is also the author of Willie Mae (Georgia reprint, 1993).
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