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Wounded I Am More Awake: Finding Meaning after Terror Paperback – April 24, 2012
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"A talented journalist and an exceptional psychiatrist team up to write a slim but engrossing volume about the experience of the Bosnian war and the possibility of healing from torture and other trauma. The story is mostly the psychiatrist's: he is a Bosnian native who was interned in six concentration camps in 1992 and 1993, alongside thousands of other Muslims in one of the worst human rights atrocities of the late 20th century. The first half of the book describes Boskailo's life before and during the war; the second half focuses on his recovery in the United States and his calling to help others as a psychiatrist in Chicago and, later, Phoenix specializing in trauma recovery. Lieblich's prose is supple and straightforward. The book does not delve into the social and political forces that led ostensible neighbors to turn so viciously on one another. Instead it offers a compendium of best practices for treating wounded souls, relying heavily on the work of Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl. Mental health professionals, as well as human rights activists working for healing and reconciliation in trouble spots across the globe, will appreciate this guide."
"Wounded I Am More Awake is for readers willing to contemplate what is unearthed about the human race, its conditions and capacities, for better or worse."
"Wounded I Am More Awake is a clear-eyed gem of a memoir with a message far beyond one man's experience. It tells Boskailo's story artfully. Above all, Boskailo's courage and empathy help us imagine how it is possible to transcend the worst sufferings one human can impose on another."
--The Chicago Tribune
"Employing a human-rights framework rather than a theological one, this book illustrates how storytelling can be healing--a timely lesson for congregants, churches, and clergy as they grapple with the problem of evil in an age of terror."
"Wounded I Am More Awake is a meditative, jarring and untimately optimistic triumph of human rights journalism that should be read by everyone"
--The Faster Times
"I have just turned the last page. I feel drained, enraged, despairing for humanity--but also enriched, confirmed, and, in a way, elated. This unlikely couple, a journalist who wrote the story and a psychiatrist who lived the story, have accomplished something that is remarkable and necessary. They relived and recorded one man's survival of genocide in a narrative that conveys such well-chosen detail that you smell the stench and sweat of bodies in a concentration camp, but you have just enough air to breathe and distance to carry you through the darkness.
"We must acknowledge the extremes of human evil, and face the history of collective atrocity. We must understand the impact of cruelty and loss on those who escape and endure. And the only way to learn the hardest lessons of inhumanity is for the tale to be told so well that we permit ourselves to take it in, to appreciate the dignity of those who have been deliberately debased, but who act in small, decent ways. They share bread. They restrain anger that could damage a fellow prisoner. They testify and risk the reprisal of others and, even worse, the reprisal of unforgiving memory. This is my world, the world of those who witness trauma and terror and loss. These are my people, the victims who prevail, the therapists who listen, the journalists who witness, perceive, and relate.
"Read this book. It will take you where you would rather not go, but you will be better for going there."
--Frank Ochberg, MD, founder of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma
From the Inside Flap
A psychiatrist and a journalist join together to tell a story of genocide and healing
Top customer reviews
People use the term existentialism loosely, yet this book shows us the true meaning of the philosophy. Even though the horror of "'never again' happened again and again," the authors find hope in the way survivors not only find but exalt their humanity.
This book will change you . . . for the better.
The first part of the book leads us through Dr. Boskailo's experience of the Bosnian war, the ordeal of the concentration camps, his healing and defiant triumph. This defiant triumph of the human spirit is very characteristic of Bosnia itself, best expressed by the famous Bosnian proverb putting a limit to human irresponsibility: You can do whatever you want, but not as long as you want to. The second part is about Boskailo's approach to psychotherapy, grief and loss work, and "integration" as he calls it. It is a much necessary reminder for all in the helping professions that success in treatment is not just decrease of symptoms, but restoring the individual to a state of mind that is closest to the one before the trauma, with the trauma "integrated" into the person's life. This conceptualization reminds me of the great American thinker and scholar of mythology Joseph Campbell, who said that the dragon you swallow gives you its power. This book leads me to conclude that just as the individual heals and integrates by restoration to a state before the trauma, the same must be true for communities and countries. This is not only a roadmap to the individual's integration, but also to Bosnia's integration, which still suffers under apartheid and ethnic divisions. Also, the need to come to terms with one's losses applies to institutions too--the UN and EU in particular lost their moral compass in Bosnia. The crisis in the EU did not start in Greece, but in Bosnia, with the betrayal of "Never Again."
Roumen Bezergianov, author of "Character Education with Chess"
This firsthand account deals with the struggles during and in the aftermath of such horror and how one's puts their life back together. There are many examples as the subject chooses to treat those affected by terror/PTSD and then how to deal with the aftermath of survivorship. Great interplay between the author and the subject and their personal journey through this dark chapter in human history. I would highly recommend this book to medical professionals who deal with such tragedy, military medical personnel dealing with the wounded and tortured in POW camps and those interested in history. It is tragic in many places but there are areas of hope as well.
Overall, high ratings as the book is well written and the author is able to take you right there with their visual imagery.
Most recent customer reviews
Thank you Dr. B.
The first part of the book leaves a reader completely breathless, as one...Read more
It is good for everyone to see how easy it is for someone's life to go from idyllic to horror, as many in...Read more