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‘FREAK: Memoir of an Outcast’
Imagine having your face disappear at birth, and your parents, unable to cope, leaving you behind in the hospital. Imagine the kind life you might be forced to live--the pain, the horror. And yet, somehow, in the midst of it, some unbelievable triumphs that prove the invincibility of the human spirit. And then, imagine tracking down your birth mother. When confronted, what would you ask her? And how do you think she might respond.
At three days of age Howard was attacked by a virus that ravaged his face and completely destroyed his nose, lower lip, eyelid, and upper palate. As he says in his book, “As quickly as my face disappeared so did my mother.” Made a ward of the state of New Jersey (thereafter referred to as case# XUG-950), Howard was placed under the care of an experimental state-employed surgeon, who mutilated his body in numerous unnecessarily painful and barbarian attempts to recreate his young patient’s face. Institutionalized in a dreary South Bronx Hospital in New York, Howard spent his early years undergoing innumerable skin and bone grafts and reconstructive surgery that left his body butchered and scarred and, understandably, a river of molten anger coursing through his veins. With unapologetic candor, he gives an unflinching account of his ordeals and triumphs and the larger-than-life characters he encounters. For more information visit http://freakbyhowardshulman.com
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