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The Outsider is an unsentimental yet profoundly moving look at one family’s experience with mental illness. 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.

The Outsider is a recipient of the Kenneth Johnson Memorial Research Library Book Award and is the winner of the 2000 Bell of Hope Award, presented annually by the Mental Health Association of Philadelphia to honor “significant and far-reaching contributions benefiting those facing the challenge of mental illness.”

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