A warm, empathetic guide to understanding, coping with, and healing from the unique pain of sibling estrangement Whenever I tell people that I am working on a book about sibling estrangement, they sit up a little straighter and lean in, as if I've tapped into a dark secret.
Fern Schumer Chapman understands the pain of sibling estrangement firsthand. For the better part of forty years, she had nearly no relationship with her only brother, despite many attempts at reconnection. Her grief and shame were devastating and isolating. But when she tried to turn to others for help, she found that a profound stigma still surrounded estrangement, and that very little statistical and psychological research existed to help her better understand the rift that had broken up her family. So she decided to conduct her own research, interviewing psychologists and estranged siblings as well as recording the extraordinary story of her own rift with her brother--and subsequent reconciliation. Brothers, Sisters, Strangers
is the result--a thoughtfully researched memoir that illuminates both the author's own story and the greater phenomenon of estrangement. Chapman helps readers work through the challenges of rebuilding a sibling relationship that seems damaged beyond repair, as well as understand when estrangement is the best option. It is at once a detailed framework for understanding sibling estrangement, a beacon of solidarity and comfort for the estranged, and a moving memoir about family trauma, addiction, grief, and recovery.
About the Author
Fern Schumer Chapman is the author of several award-winning books, including Motherland, which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Her work has appeared in many publications including the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, The Washington Post, Fortune, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, she has taught magazine writing and other seminars at both Northwestern and Lake Forest College.