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Publisher Description

In this heartfelt memoir from one of the youngest recipients of the transorbital lobotamy, Howard Dully shares the story of a painfully dysfunctional childhood, a misspent youth, his struggle to claim the life that was taken from him, and his redemption.

At twelve, Howard Dully was guilty of the same crimes as other boys his age: he was moody and messy, rambunctious with his brothers, contrary just to prove a point, and perpetually at odds with his parents. Yet somehow, this normal boy became one of the youngest people on whom Dr. Walter Freeman performed his barbaric transorbital—or ice pick—lobotomy.

Abandoned by his family within a year of the surgery, Howard spent his teen years in mental institutions, his twenties in jail, and his thirties in a bottle. It wasn’t until he was in his forties that Howard began to pull his life together. But even as he began to live the “normal” life he had been denied, Howard struggled with one question: Why?

There were only three people who would know the truth: Freeman, the man who performed the procedure; Lou, his cold and demanding stepmother who brought Howard to the doctor’s attention; and his father, Rodney. Of the three, only Rodney, the man who hadn’t intervened on his son’s behalf, was still living. Time was running out. Stable and happy for the first time in decades, Howard began to search for answers.
Through his research, Howard met other lobotomy patients and their families, talked with one of Freeman’s sons about his father’s controversial life’s work, and confronted Rodney about his complicity. And, in the archive where the doctor’s files are stored, he finally came face to face with the truth.
Revealing what happened to a child no one—not his father, not the medical community, not the state—was willing to protect, My Lobotomy exposes a shameful chapter in the history of the treatment of mental illness. Yet, ultimately, this is a powerful and moving chronicle of the life of one man.

Biographies & Memoirs
September 4
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

Martagirl39 ,

My lobotomy

Well written and interesting.

sometimers3 ,

My Lobotomy

His stepmother was a witch. She should have had the lobotomy. His dad was nothing to brag about either. No child should have gone through life knowing he was not loved. His dad wouldn’t even protect him. When people become parents the welfare of their children comes before anything else at least until the child becomes an adult.

Hillgirlhere ,

My Lobotomy

The story leading up to the lobotomy was really a case history of lots of abused children who are targeted by a mentally unstable parent or step parent or both. It is so incredibly sad that these things are still very much happening to children today, not the lobotomy thank God but the verbal and physical abuse! The "story" bogged down at times and repeated at times but the gist of the man's life was played out for all to see. It is amazing that Howard was able to function especially later in life. God Bless this man and his ability to forgive! Left lots to be grateful for in my life, for sure.