"Becoming Anna" is the poignant memoir of the first sixteen years in the life of Anna Michener, a young woman who fought a painful battle against her abusive family. Labeled "crazy girl" for much of her childhood, Anna suffered physical and emotional damage at the hands of the adults who were supposed to love and protect her. Committed to various mental institutions by her family, at sixteen Anna was finally able to escape her chaotic home life and enter a foster home. As an effort toward recovery and self-affirmation as well as a powerful plea on behalf of other abused children, Anna wrote this memoir while the experience was fresh and the emotions were still raw and unhealed. Her story is a powerful tale of survival.
"A teen's raw, in-your-face chronicle of events almost as they were happening. As such, it's unforgettable. . . . Michener's story gives voice to the thousands of children and adolescents trapped in 'the system, ' biding their time until their 18th birthdays. A candid and unstinting tell-all."--"Kirkus Reviews"
"Extraordinary. . . . Michener's expressive writing does justice to a topic that is clearly very disturbing to her personally and communicates a profoundly important message on behalf of all abused and neglected children."--"Booklist"
"An important book, painful to read, but essential if other children in similar situations are to be saved."--"Library Journal"
"An innocent child's account of 16 years in hell and of the terrible wrongs inflicted on children who are without rights or caring advocates."--"Choice"
" Michener] emerges as a compelling and courageous advocate for children and their welfare--she's a young writer with an extraordinary voice.""Feminist Bookstore News"
"Quite simply one of the best, most compelling, well-written autobiographies published in years. . . . Remember the name. We have not heard the last of Anna Michener."--Myree Whitfield, "Melbourne Herald-Sun," cover story
This memoir doesn't boast the perspective of hindsight; it's a teen's raw, in-your-face chronicle of events almost as they were happening. As such, it's unforgettable. Michener's family of origin included a father who beat her and collected pornographic photo albums, an unstable mother who suffered from physical disease but inflicted deeper psychological wounds on her children, and a grandmother with a Ph.D. in psychology who, in a complete perversion of grandmotherly stereotypes, used to attack the author with her knitting needles. Sadly, Michener's story only gets worse when her parents have her committed, first to a private, then a state, mental institution. She relates one story after another of young teens who suffered from parental abuse being permanently labeled "crazy" and never finding help within the system. To Michener, the staff members at the mental hospital seemed far more sadistic and deranged (Nurse Ratchet types) than the patients. For the first few months, she was overmedicated, unable to walk without clutching the wall. For small infractions, patients would be kept in a urine-drenched solitary confinement cell. When Michener was 16, her mother temporarily released her from the mental hospital, and before she could be committed again, the girl moved away and became the ward of her best friend's grandparents, who hired a lawyer and sued for custody. Michener (her adopted last name) notes in the epilogue that what bothers her most about her story is that its happy ending is purely accidental: "I simply lucked out. I had . . . absolutely no say in my own fate, and this is true of all children in this country." Michener's story gives voice to the thousands of children and adolescents trapped in "the system," biding their time until their 18th birthdays. A candid and unstinting tell-all. (Kirkus Reviews)
Number Of Pages: 262
Published: 1st January 1998
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.1
Weight (kg): 0.31
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition