And Neither Have I Wings to Fly

By Thelma Wheatley

And Neither Have I Wings to Fly
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2014 Finalist for the Wales Book of the Year Award for Creative Non-Fiction
2014 Finalist for the MARTY People’s Choice Award for Literary Arts
2013 IPPY Bronze Medal Winner for Psychology/Mental Health

The shocking true story of the institutionalization and abuse of children ... Read more


Overview

2014 Finalist for the Wales Book of the Year Award for Creative Non-Fiction
2014 Finalist for the MARTY People’s Choice Award for Literary Arts
2013 IPPY Bronze Medal Winner for Psychology/Mental Health

The shocking true story of the institutionalization and abuse of children and adults with intellectual and physical handicaps in Canada’s oldest provincial institution in Orillia, Ontario. Daisy Lumsden and her family were such victims, along with over ten thousand children, including infants, and adults with intellectual disabilities committed over the last century to the institution now known as Huronia Regional Centre, formerly the Asylum for Idiots and Feeble-Minded. The time frame of the book, 1900-1966, covers the most controversial decades in its history, a time of over-crowding and abuses that reached a crux in the 1950s and 1960s when the inmate population was nearly 3000. Victims of the rising eugenic ideology of the early 1900s that infiltrated Canada from United States and Britain, advocating segregation and involuntary sterilization of the “feeble-minded,” Daisy’s family — uneducated, ignorant, unemployed, incestuous, poor — were easily identifiable as “feeble-minded” and “unfit,” unwittingly caught up in a genetic “survival of the fittest. ” But who are the “unfit” in our society? And who decides?

Thelma Wheatley

Thelma Wheatley is the author of My Sad Is All Gone: A Family’s Triumph Over Violent Autism (2004), a book about raising her autistic child. Her award-winning short fiction has been published in a number of literary journals across Canada. Past president of Autism Society Ontario, Peel Region, Wheatley continues to be in demand as a speaker on violence and autism. She is on the Board of the Friends of the Archives, Museum of Mental Health, camh, and is currently editor of the Friends of the Archives Newsletter.

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