Relative Stranger (Paperback)

Piecing Together a Life Plagued by Madness

By Mary Loudon

Canongate Us, 9781847671738, 335pp.

Publication Date: February 18, 2008

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/1/2007)

List Price: 14.00*
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Description

Relative Stranger is the powerful, uncompromising memoir of Mary Loudon's search to understand the facts about the deeply troubling final years of her dead sister, Catherine. Mary, the youngest in a happy, upper-middle-class London family, had not seen Catherine for what would be the last twelve years of Catherine's life. After discovering that Catherine had been inhabiting the identity of a man called Stevie, Mary plunges into a postmortem investigation, interviewing doctors, nurses, social-services representatives, nuns, cafe owners, grocers, and ministers who knew Catherine. Loudon paints a portrait that lays bare the pain of schizophrenia as well as its vexing complexities. In the vein of Jeanette Walls's best-selling memoir, The Glass Castle, Relative Stranger is an honest account of how schizophrenia affected a promising young life while exploring the assumptions people make about mental illness and what it means to love, to lose, to die, and, above all, to belong.