Jay Neugeboren and his brother, Robert, grew up in Brooklyn in the years following World War II. Both brothers - smart, talented, and popular - seemed well on the way to successful lives when, for reasons that remain ultimately mysterious to this day, Robert had a mental breakdown at age nineteen. For the past forty years Jay has been not only his brother's friend and confidant, but his sole advocate, as Robert continues to suffer from the ravages of the illness that has kept him institutionalized for most of his adult life.
Imagining Robert tells the story of these two brothers and how their love for one another has enabled both to survive, and to thrive in miraculous, surprising ways. It is the most honest book yet on what it is like for the millions of families that must cope, day-by-day and year-by-year over the course of a lifetime, with a condition for which, in most cases, there is no cure. By never giving up hope and by valuing his brother's uniqueness and humanity, Jay Neugeboren reveals how even the grimmest of lives can be sustained by the power of love.
A film based on Imagining Robert aired on PBS nationally in 2003. With a new afterword that brings readers up to date on Robert's life, Rutgers University Press is pleased make this highly praised book with its inspiring story available once more to the public.