A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder
Robert B. Oxnam
In the tradition of An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison comes the heartbreaking memoir of a prominent scholar’s long journey to put the pieces of his fractured life together
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In 1989, Robert B. Oxnam, the successful China scholar and
president of the Asia Society, faced up to what he thought
was his biggest personal challenge: alcoholism. But this
dependency masked a problem far more serious: Multiple
At the peak of his professional career, after having led
the Asia Society for nearly a decade, Oxnam was haunted by
periodic blackouts and episodic rages. After his family and
friends intervened, Oxnam received help from a
psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Smith, and entered a rehab
center. It wasn’t until 1990 during a session with Dr.
Smith that the first of Oxnam’s eleven alternate
personalities -- an angry young boy named Tommy -- suddenly
emerged. With Dr. Smith’s help, Oxnam began the exhausting
and fascinating process of uncovering his many
personalities and the childhood trauma that caused his
This is the powerful and moving story of one person’s
struggle with this terrifying illness. The book includes an
epilogue by Dr. Smith in which he describes Robert’s case,
the treatment, and the nature of multiple personality
disorder. Robert’s courage in facing his situation and
overcoming his painful past makes for a dramatic and
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