An unsentimental yet profoundly moving look at one family’s experience with mental illness.
“A haunting, poignant story of a son’s life with, and without, his father. A rare and moving portrait of one of life’s major struggles—the devastation created by severe mental illness.” —John Oldham, M.D., Director of New York State Psychiatric Institute
In 1978, Charles Lachenmeyer was a happily married professor of sociology who lived in the New York suburbs with his wife and nine-year-old son, Nathaniel. But within a few short years, schizophrenia—a devastating mental illness with no known cure—would cost him everything: his sanity, his career, his family, even the roof over his head. Upon learning of his father’s death in 1995, Nathaniel set out to search for the truth behind his father’s haunted, solitary existence.
Rich in imagery and poignant symbolism, The Outsider is a beautifully written memoir of a father’s struggle to survive with dignity, and a son’s struggle to know the father he lost to schizophrenia long before he finally lost him to death.
• Recipient of the Kenneth Johnson Memorial Research Library Book Award
• Winner of the 2000 Bell of Hope Award