Jul 21, 2021

Stolen: A Memoir Elizabeth Gilpin

Actor and producer Gilpin debuts with a searing indictment of the billion-dollar “Troubled Teen Industry” and the boarding school that upended her life. She relates how in high school, she was a successful student who also battled depression and rage. After months of clashing with her parents, she was taken to an “educational consultant” who recommended she be sent to a behavioral modification program. Following the program’s protocol, professional escorts pulled 15-year-old Gilpin from her bed one night and took her deep into the Appalachian Mountains, where she was forced to live in the wilderness and partake in humiliating group therapy sessions. Three months later, she was sent to Carlbrook, a boarding school in Virginia that touted a therapeutic curriculum but in reality applied a shame-based “one-size-fits-all treatment plan” to students who suffered from everything from opioid addiction to “playing too many video games.” Gilpin is a captivating writer, made even more impressive by the fact that her formal education at Carlbrook wasn’t just abysmal, but involved psychological torture—such as having a flashlight beam shot into her eyes nightly as she attempted to sleep—until she graduated at age 17. By confronting the ugliness of a system that almost killed her, Gilpin emerges victorious in a narrative that radiates with humanity. This unflinching account is impossible to put down. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (July)

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