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Academic Books & Book Chapters

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Orphans Real and Imaginary

Eileen Simpson


Eileen Simpson (1918–2002) was an American writer and psychotherapist. Simpson’s mother died when she was 1 years old and she and her sister were placed in a Catholic orphanage. Neglected by the nuns, she almost died of tuberculosis and, after their father died when she was 7, she and her sister were sent by relatives to a “preventorium” in New Jersey. Her Orphans, Real and Imaginary. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987. It is personal history; it is also social and literary reflection. The first part is about her growing up spending time in a convent-orphanage and a sanatorium due to tuberculosis. The second part of the book is a brief survey of the treatment of orphans; the history, present day -1980s, as well as orphans in autobiography and literary orphans.

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