"Tell him you'll punish him . . . ."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tom Parker
Acclaimed Bettelheim Biographer Richard Pollak
Returns With After the Barn, a Compelling Memoir
of Sibling Death, Epilepsy and Lost Memory
"Tell him you'll punish him if he doesn't stop hiding!" Those were the words Richard Pollak shouted down to his parents as he played hide-and-seek with his 11-year-old brother in the loft of a barn. Moments later Stephen slipped through a hole camouflaged by hay and fell to his death. To this day, Pollak remembers virtually nothing of that hot summer afternoon, as he recounts in his riveting new book, After the Barn.
Pollak shines a powerful light on himself and his family in a memoir that is by turns investigative and introspective, a remarkably candid and probing reflection on the life-long impact of his brother's death, his own struggle with epilepsy (the "falling sickness"), and the elusiveness of memory.
Pollak shines a powerful light on himself and his family in a memoir that is by turns investigative and introspective, a remarkably honest and probing reflection on the life-long impact of his brother's death, his own struggle with epilepsy (the "falling sickness"), and the elusiveness of memory.
Readers will know Pollak as the author of, among other books, The Creation of Dr. B, his much-praised biography of Bruno Bettelheim, which exposed the late University of Chicago child psychotherapist's many deceptions. The New York Times Book Review called the work "a startling and thorough account of a life of lies." The daily Times called it a "devastating" book written with "exquisite politeness."
In After the Barn, Pollak brings the same nuance and toughness to his own life, producing "a gripping story of how a family deals with tragedy, and with secrets. But it is also a testament to the bravery inherent in seeking the clues to one's intimate past," writes Daniel Okrent, first public editor of the New York Times, and author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.
The veteran Chicago journalists Michael Miner was so struck by After the Barn that he devoted two columns to the book, the first tracing Pollak’s sometimes harrowing tale, the second describing the road the author took to publication. The link to his pieces is at left.
After the Barn is available as an e-book for Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPad and iPhone, and in paperback by contacting Tom Parker at the phone number or email address above. Mr. Parker also will arrange interviews and readings upon request.
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