In 1970, a young abused girl was found in Los Angeles. Nicknamed Genie by the media, the girl was taken from her home and placed in hospitals and foster homes as scientists and linguists attempted to help her. Genie had been kept confined with no socialization in her parents' home. Her father had been abusive and, believing Genie to be mentally retarded, had kept the girl confined in a back room of the house. The girl was not allowed to leave and was beaten when she made a noise. She did not learn to talk or behave normally because of her circumstances. Once Genie was found and placed in a hospital, a number of scientists and linguists, including Susan Curtiss, David Rigler, and Jean Butler, began to care for her. Scientists working with Genie disagreed amongst themselves about Genie's treatment and Genie suffered as a result. Rymer's book explores not only the life of Genie, but also the lives of the scientists and the society and scientific community which allowed Genie to suffer.
This report prepared by A. Antonow