A World without Martha
A World without Martha is an unflinching yet compassionate memoir of how one sister's institutionalization for intellectual disability in the 1960s affected the other, sending them both on separate but parallel journeys shaped initially by society's inability to accept difference and later by changing attitudes toward disability, identity, and inclusion.
Victoria Freeman was only four when her parents followed medical advice and sent her sister away to a distant, overcrowded institution. Martha was not yet two, but in 1960s Ontario there was little community acceptance or support for raising children with intellectual disabilities at home. In this frank and moving memoir, Victoria describes growing up in a world that excluded and dehumanized her sister, and how society's insistence that only a "normal" life was worth living affected her sister, her family, and herself, until changing attitudes to disability and difference offered both sisters new possibilities for healing and self-discovery. (From Purich Books)
- Victoria Freeman's sister had Down syndrome and was institutionalized — so she wrote a book to honour her