Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Genie: An Abused Child's Flight From Silence

Posted on

Based on a two-part piece in The New Yorker, this story of a child who was confined to a small room until the age of 13 is everything good journalism should be and a great deal more. Russ Rymer tells Genie’s story with all its enormous implications for developmental psychology and linguistics (when she was discovered in 1970, Genie could not speak and thus fascinated scientists investigating the origins of language) in a way that keeps the narrative moving at an impressive pace. He also has a sure but unobtrusive hand with the complicated ethical implications of Genie’s treatment by people who were sometimes as concerned with her usefulness to research as with her well-being. Genie: An Abused Child’s Flight From Silence is sure to be one of the best nonfiction books of the year. A