The Danny Diaries is a book about a gifted, delightful child who had a teenage psychotic breakdown and was diagnosed as schizophrenic. This is a detective story for the reader. Why did he break down? Was it drugs? Was it growing up too quickly? Did he have too much adulation too young? Was society to blame?
And how did he recover? Once more the reader has a detective story to help him or her decide. His mother wrote down his spoken words from when he was fifteen months old, and she has chosen a selection of these both to delight and help the reader. Some of his psychotic speech does come into the book – only as examples, since it is not decipherable. “His weird talk” his sister called it.
People ask, “Is he really off all medication?” Yes! He has been sane and stable and happy for over 20 years.
The book will help parents of disturbed teenagers, but for everyone else it is a good, true story—with an innocent beginning, a chaotic middle, and an ending which is both triumphant and comforting. The book is also for anyone who has doubts about a lot of psychology and therapy. Real life goals are what work in the end.
Ann Cluver Weinberg is a South African author of poetry, stories and biographies who has been published and broadcast in South Africa. She is known for her robust honesty, her lyrical clarity, and her ability to give a universal experience from her very personal and well-observed stories.