Girls Who Went Away

Girls Who Went Away

4.15 (4,173 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this deeply moving and myth-shattering work, Ann Fessler brings out into the open for the first time the astonishing untold history of the million and a half women who surrendered children for adoption due to enormous family and social pressure in the decades before Roe v. Wade. An adoptee who was herself surrendered during those years and recently made contact with her mother, Ann Fessler brilliantly brings to life the voices of more than a hundred women, as well as the spirit of those times, allowing the women to tell their stories in gripping and intimate detail.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 362 pages
  • 138 x 212 x 24mm | 258.55g
  • Penguin Books
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143038974
  • 9780143038979
  • 190,052

Review quote

Journalism of the first order, moving and informative in equal measure. (San Francisco Chronicle) A remarkably well-researched and accomplished book. (The New York Times Book Review) A wrenching, riveting book. (Chicago Tribune) Haunting. (People)
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About Ann Fessler

Ann Fessler is professor of photography at Rhode Island School of Design and a specialist in video-installation art. She won a prestigious Radcliffe Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, for 2004, to complete her extensive research for this book. She is also the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the LEF Foundation, Boston; the Rhode Island Foundation; the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; Art Matters, New York; and the Maryland State Arts Council. An adoptee herself, she begins and ends the book with the story of her own successful quest to find her birth mother.
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Table of contents

The Girls Who Went Away1. My Own Story as an Adoptee
2. Breaking the Silence
Dorothy II
3. Good Girls v. Bad Girls
Nancy I
4. Discovery and Shame
5. The Family's Fears
6. Going Away
Karen I
7. Birth and Surrender
8. The Aftermath
Susan III
9. Search and Reunion
Susan II
10. Talking and Listening
Linda I
11. Every Mother but My Own
A Note on the Interviews
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Rating details

4,173 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 40% (1,651)
4 40% (1,671)
3 17% (706)
2 3% (124)
1 1% (21)
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