When Deborah Kasdan’s sister returns from a gap year in Israel she seems to glow with health and beauty. Three years later she is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Roll Back the World
is a heartbreaking story of love, grief, and guilt -- and a testament to the enduring bonds of siblings in the face of ineffective psychiatric treatment spanning decades.
In clear and vivid prose, and with the help of Rachel’s letters and poetry, Deborah provides a poignant look at a mid-century Jewish family under strain; offers a moving account of Rachel’s indomitable spirit; and explores family history from the WWII years and the Cold War, trying to make sense of what happened.
As the years pass, Deborah focuses on her own family and career but constantly feels shadowed by a sense of guilt, which is compounded when she and her other two siblings make a bold attempt to help Rachel—a plan that fails. Only after a mental health worker asks Rachel to write a poem does she finally gain her freedom. To Deborah’s great joy, Rachel finds acceptance, despite her disabilities, in a compassionate community, including a synagogue where she returns to the religion of her youth.
When Deborah Kasdan retired from a thirty-five-year career writing about business and technology, she joined Westport Writers Workshop to make her personal stories come alive. She has served on the board of directors of an intergenerational housing organization and the National Organization on Mental Illness (NAMI) for Southwest CT. She lives in Norwalk.
elmstreetbooks.com will be selling copies after the talk. A portion of the proceeds goes to Wilton Library.
This event is co-sponsored by NAMI Southwest CT.
The media sponsor of our author talks is GOOD Morning Wilton.
required. For more information visit www.wiltonlibrary.org, call the
library’s reference librarians at 203-762-6350 or email