Ghosts of the Orphanage: A Story of Mysterious Deaths, a Conspiracy of Silence, and a Search for Justice


Product Details

$30.00  $27.90
Publish Date
6.34 X 9.51 X 1.25 inches | 1.28 pounds

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About the Author

Christine Kenneally is an award-winning journalist and author who has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate, Time, and other publications. Her BuzzFeed story about crimes committed at St. Joseph's Orphanage was viewed more than six million times in six months. It won a Deadline Award and was a finalist for a National Magazine Award, a Michael Kelly Award and an Online Journalism Award. It was shortlisted for the Fetisov Prize. Her most recent book, The Invisible History of the Human Race was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, among other accolades. A native of Australia, Kenneally also has lived in New York, Iowa, and England, where she earned a Ph.D. in linguistics from Cambridge University. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her family.


"Sometimes the world's secrets have to wait for the right person to turn up to reveal them. Across ten years of hard and painful investigation, Christine Kenneally discovered, explored, and here reports on a great sink of human misery visited upon unprotected children by the very people who were honored for caring for them. It's a chilling book, but a brave and important one--and a gripping read. It bears comparison to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago."--Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb and A Hole in the World
"In the orphanages Kenneally investigates, sanctimonious, seemingly pious adults physically, emotionally, and sexually abused children, imagining that the children exposed to their shameful barbarism would forget the 'morally upright' adults' horrific crimes. A cautionary tale about the long-term impact of adults' cruelty to children--how perpetrators' brutality, even when half-forgotten--nonetheless haunts victims with bodily pain, mysterious fears, and eventually, maybe, powerful understanding."--Jessica Stern, senior fellow, Harvard School of Public Health
"Kenneally has pulled off an astonishing feat in Ghosts of the Orphanage. She has produced a haunting, literary page-turner that is also a work of deep and urgent reportage. The reporting is tenacious and jaw dropping, but it is the characters who will stay with you long after the book is done."--Jessica Garrison, author of The Devil's Harvest
"Kenneally... paints a beyond disturbing picture of human cruelty in this shocking exposé of decades of abuse of children housed in orphanages across multiple countries in much of the 20th century...This harrowing true crime story is essential, if deeply difficult, reading." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A powerful work of sociological investigation and literary journalism." --Kirkus Reviews
"The history of orphanages in the 19th and 20th centuries is secretive, dark, and vast. ...Kenneally handles each person's story with great care and ensures that this time, the people who were failed by the system are heard... An important look into the dark past of orphanages globally. It's also a deep dive into the ways these horrific stories were kept out of the public eye for so long."--Library Journal, starred review