• Nobody's Normal

  • How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness
  • By: Roy Richard Grinker
  • Narrated by: Lyle Blaker
  • Length: 14 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.50

Buy for $31.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A Guardian Best Book of 2021

A compassionate and captivating examination of evolving attitudes toward mental illness throughout history and the fight to end the stigma.

For centuries, scientists and society cast moral judgments on anyone deemed mentally ill, confining many to asylums. In Nobody’s Normal, anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker chronicles the progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental-illness stigma - from the 18th century, through America’s major wars, and into today’s high-tech economy.

Nobody’s Normal argues that stigma is a social process that can be explained through cultural history, a process that began the moment we defined mental illness, that we learn from within our communities, and that we ultimately have the power to change. Though the legacies of shame and secrecy are still with us today, Grinker writes that we are at the cusp of ending the marginalization of the mentally ill. In the 21st century, mental illnesses are fast becoming a more accepted and visible part of human diversity.

Grinker infuses the book with the personal history of his family’s four generations of involvement in psychiatry, including his grandfather’s analysis with Sigmund Freud, his own daughter’s experience with autism, and culminating in his research on neurodiversity. Drawing on cutting-edge science, historical archives, and cross-cultural research in Africa and Asia, Grinker takes listeners on an international journey to discover the origins of, and variances in, our cultural response to neurodiversity.

Urgent, eye-opening, and ultimately hopeful, Nobody’s Normal explains how we are transforming mental illness and offers a path to end the shadow of stigma.

©2021 Roy Richard Grinker (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A rich history woven with insights from four generations of the Grinker family’s research, Nobody's Normal shows how a society’s needs and prejudices shape how it deals with mental illness.... This book sings with [Grinker's] empathetic and authoritative voice." (Virginia Hughes, New York Times Book Review)

"An unusually engaging history of mental illness and the stigma attached to it. Roy Richard Grinker threads together the attitudes of society toward psychiatric illness with the lives and work of his ancestors and his daughter’s experience of autism. The result is an informative and thoughtful book about mental illness: common, painful, usually treatable, and profoundly tied to the human condition. (Kay Redfield Jamison, Pulitzer Prize finalist for Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire

Nobody’s Normal is for everyone. Patients and their families will read the book as if it were written for them because it is so personal and empathic. Mental health professionals will read it as if it were written for them because it is so extensively researched and erudite…Beautifully written, a remarkable history. (Alix Spiegel, cocreator of NPR’s Invisibilia

What listeners say about Nobody's Normal

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    35
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Must read

This is an important and timely read for all of humanity. Fascinating, entertaining, informative, enlightening. The narrator was really great as well.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Educational Trudge

Great information. Painful history of disabled folks. Interesting research. Definitely a trudge to get through, but worth the eye-opening research.