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Kelly Ayotte: The Elephant Woman
Sign Up. June 29, at AM. The child, Ruth Ellen Freedman, daughter of Prof.
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Ralph Freedman, apparently died from multiple internal injuries, said coroner Clyde Bud Chamberlain, Jr. Mouth to mouth resuscitation and heart massage were administered unsuccessfully at the scene, Chamberlain said. He said he saw the child lying on the concrete in the center of the cage. He is an English professor at Princeton University. As he approached the cage to rescue the child, he could see that the elephant was upset, Bollig said, because she trumpeted several times. But when he entered the cage, the elephant walked away from the child, he added.
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Mike Sharpe, 9, son of Mr. John W. Unlike psychologist Harry Harlowe's infamous experiments with monkeys and maternal deprivation - where all his subjects ended up abnormal or dead from what has been termed "emotional anorexia" -abused children are supposed to be more resilient. In fact, a significant number of people insist that child abuse isn't really that big of a deal and that such children will eventually enter into adulthood with the same knowledge and tools as those who were not abused, or at least be able to gain them quickly and easily. Less acknowledged is the fact that there can be long-term and even lifelong physical, social and emotional consequences of child abuse.
Oftentimes, the one affected doesn't even realize what those consequences are until well into adulthood. High anxiety, hyper-vigilance, thwarted sexuality and brain damage that went undiagnosed until the age of 46 were just some of the after-effects experienced by the author of Elephant Girl: A Human Story. The story of Precious ends with her teenage years. Jeannette Walls concludes Glass Castles as a college student. In A Child Called It, Dave Pelzer is removed from his abusive home by age 12 and eventually finds a loving foster family. In contrast, Elephant Girl: A Human Story is about what happens when there is no clear path to follow, no outside guidance and no dramatic rescue-when the only life-saving graces are imagination, self-determination and, ultimately, an undefeatable sense of hope.
This is not an easy story to read. Those who enjoy reading about miracles or quick solutions will surely be disappointed. Those looking to cast blame or buoy their belief that they could have done better will find plenty of ammunition.
However, those who are willing to see beyond the convenience and labels of bootstraps and bromides - who believe that human experiences are diverse and complex - will find much to relate to in this rarely told story. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published August 1st by Createspace first published July 31st More Details Other Editions 3.
Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Elephant Girl , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. May 11, Sharon Lippincott rated it it was amazing. Some stories happened. As I read Elephant Girl, from the initial gut-wrenching description of elephant training to the enigmatic conclusion, I kept reminding myself that even though this story sounded for all the world like memoir, it was really fiction.
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It was fiction with a political agenda of showing the enduring evils of child abuse compounded by the insanity of governmental and other quasi-support systems that have holes in their safety nets large enough for s to fly through. This much Truth requires fiction to credibly tell in such concentrated form, I reasoned. Apparently one life IS big enough to have endured so much trauma and live to tell the tale. Elephant Girl is a tale of hard truth.
At the same time, this is a tale of enduring human spirit, determined to beat the odds, that triumphs in a surprising way. This story is true. This story did happen. It has certainly moved me to look for more ways I can make a difference in helping to bring about needed reforms. I urge others to read this tough story, consider the same question, and act on your answers. If enough of us ask and act, change must occur.
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That is the power of Story. I thank her for having the courage to share hers. This review was originally published at StoryCircleBookReviews Feb 12, D rated it it was ok Shelves: secular-biography-memoir. As is always the case when I submit an unfavorable review for a personal memoir - I want to emphasize that I am criticizing the BOOK, not minimizing the author's experience, challenging her perspective or memories, etc. The author reports horrific physical and psychological abuse and neglect - starting as a young child when she had no recourse, no choices, no way to defend herself, and absolutely cannot be held responsible for anything that happened to her or how she reacted to it.
Although some As is always the case when I submit an unfavorable review for a personal memoir - I want to emphasize that I am criticizing the BOOK, not minimizing the author's experience, challenging her perspective or memories, etc. Although some people have been able to rise above a beginning such as this, and find peace, fulfillment, and achievement as an adult - her account makes it clear that, for most of her adult life, she was not.
Some of the narrative is beautifully written - gripping, rich, multi-layered - but much of it feels like an endless, repetitive litany of woe, why me, and ain't it awful. The organization of the book is confusing. Since the author includes a number of metaphorical and imaginary characters the lack of a clear timeline makes it a confusing read. Either in the last part of the book, or on the author's blog site, I read that she self-published the book, and the lightbulb flashed on.
The book did not have the benefit of a successful, for-profit publisher's refining dissection. If the author, who clearly has some skill as a awriter, tried in vain to have her manuscript accepted, and felt that she must tell her story and experience the redemption inherent in that - then this book is a logical product. It is her loss, and the loss of actual and potential readers, that she was denied the resources to polish and present her memoir as the gemstone it deserved to be.
Sep 08, Roxanne rated it it was amazing. I found myself crying for the abused and neglected little girl of the beginning of the story, and cheering for the strong and undaunted woman she becomes. Her voice extends beyond the pages, inviting the reader right into her mind and her heart. As the story progresses, and she matures, so does the narrative voice.
Review & Interview with Henriette Gyland author of The Elephant Girl – crime thriller girl
Jane Devin is a heroine for modern day girls. Every dangerous and dark aspect of human nature has inflicted itself on her life, and somehow she was still able to survive. It is sometimes painful to follow the journey, not knowing where it is going to end. And yet, despite a lifetime of struggling through the darkness, Devin remains positive and determined to find a way to survive. You need to read this book.
If you have ever felt like the world was crashing down on top of you, you will find inspiration in Devin's experiences and her sheer will to survive against all the odds. If you have lived in poverty, suffered abuses of any kind, you will see yourself in Devin. And maybe that will provide all the encouragement you need to believe this too shall pass and it does get better.
I know, I hate cliches too. But they just seem to fit perfectly right now. I knew nothing of Devin or the premise of the book when I started reading. I found myself in disbelief when I realized it was a memoir. Since completing the story, I have read more about Devin and started following her blog. She continues to be inspirational. I was happy to see on Twitter that she recently raised enough money for a publicity campaign.
To read more from Devin, check out her blog at www. Oct 13, Rachel rated it it was ok.