Broken Cord

Broken Cord

by Michael Dorris


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The controversial national bestseller that received unprecedented media attention, sparked the nation's interest in the plight of children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and touched a nerve in all of us. Winner of the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060916824
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/30/1992
Series: Harper Perennial
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 480,135
Product dimensions: 0.00(w) x 0.00(h) x (d)
Lexile: 1190L (what's this?)

About the Author

Michael Dorris is the author of A Yellow Raft in Blue Water, The Broken Cord, Working Men, Morning Girl, and Guests, and co-author with Louise Erdrich of The Crown of Columbus.

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Broken Cord (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
MsB08 More than 1 year ago
Reading this book brought back many memories of my own daughter, who was adopted in 1994. It took a few years before I realized the impact of alcohol in her life. I laughed and cried as I read Michael's description of Adam's life and how he(Michael) was trying to rationalize why his son was the way he was. Looking back I realize how much I wasn't prepared for my child's challenges but recognize how much she taught me about life and how to deal with her understanding of the world. I have come to learn that my daughter didn't live in my world, but that I lived in her world which I had to make adjustments according to each situation. Safety was and still will always be first. I would encourage all parents to read and learn to appreciate the children you do have that are not impacted with any type of disability. As a former teacher I would always wonder what normal was in today's society.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What an awesome read! This book is a perfect mix of personal testimony, social issue awareness, and nerdy research stuff. If you work with children or adults affected by FAS or FAE, this is MUST READ! This book makes you want to find out more about the family, FAS, FAE, and other current issues that affect the rest of a child's life while in utero.
labfs39 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Broken Cord is both a personal account of the author's adoption of a boy with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and a synopsis of research on FAS through 1987, when the book was published. I found the personal, familial parts of the story to be both poignant and inspiring. As a parent and as an educator, I could understand the conflicting desires to see only the best in your child and to acknowledge them as they are. The inclusion of the son's own attempt at autobiography was heartbreaking in its conflicting innocent warmth and tired repetition. Both as a parent and a social anthropologist, Dorris researched FAS for years, and he includes much of it in the midst of his family story. The facts are shocking and seemingly well-documented, despite the rather anecdotal recitation of his research. The message is clear and Dorris recites it often: there is NO safe amount of alcohol that a woman can imbibe during pregnancy. Unfortunately, I found it hard to always know when Dorris was making the switch between the anecdotal and the scientific. Perhaps that in itself is part of the problem--can we separate cultural norms and the familial from the scientific? Reading the book, I was by turns despairing and militant. FAS is completely preventable, why isn't it?
anyanwubutler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Re-read for my Programming for Students with Severe Disabilities class, for an assignment/ case study of a 6 year-old with FAS, it¿s still an excellent read and so I feel justified putting it on this list, when I usually don¿t list books read for school here. Dorris, who I know as a children and adult novelist, wrote this non-fiction about raising his adopted son with FAS. A few years after this book was written Adam, who¿d never learned about consequences, even though he was 23 years old, was hit by a car because he didn¿t look both ways. Six years later, Adam¿s brother also adopted by Dorris with FAE sued him for sexual abuse. Dorris, also going through a divorce, committed suicide. He wrote before his suicide: ¿I tried to save three lives. Maybe I didn¿t try hard enough. Maybe they were unsaveable. One is gone. One is lost. One is a danger to all who come within his line of sight.¿ Alcohol ruined and warped the lives of three Dorris children before they were born, and the despair brought by it caused Dorris to take his own life. What a waste!!!
MEAWelsh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent account of how the author and his family deals with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Dorris also describes the prevalence of alcoholism and FAS on Indian reservations.
4everreading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the story of Michael Dorris' son, Adam, who has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Mr. Dorris conducted extensive research on this problem in the Native American population and details his findings in the book. It is very important information for our society, but the narrative gets a little bogged down in statistics at times.