Enter for Your Chance to Win a Heartbreaking Memoir: He Wanted the Moon

Okay, this should be enough to make you want to read Mimi Baird’s memoir: Pat Conroy (yes, the Pat Conroy) says, “He Wanted the Moon is one of the most disturbing and profoundly moving books I’ve read in years, and one of the great father-daughter books of our time.”

Texas-born and Harvard-educated, Dr. Perry Baird was a rising medical star in the late 1920s and 1930s. Early in his career, ahead of his time, he grew fascinated with identifying the biochemical root of manic depression, just as he began to suffer from it himself.

By the time the results of his groundbreaking experiments were published, Dr. Baird had been institutionalized multiple times, his medical license revoked, and his wife and daughters estranged. He later received a lobotomy and died from a consequent seizure, his research incomplete, his achievements unrecognized.

Mimi Baird grew up never fully knowing this story, as her family went silent about the father who had been absent for most of her childhood. Decades later, a string of extraordinary coincidences led to the recovery of a manuscript which Dr. Baird had worked on throughout his brutal institutionalization, confinement, and escape.

This remarkable document, reflecting periods of both manic exhilaration and clear-headed health, presents a startling portrait of a man who was a uniquely astute observer of his own condition, struggling with a disease for which there was no cure, racing against time to unlock the key to treatment before his illness became impossible to manage.

Fifty years after being told her father would forever be “ill” and “away,” Mimi Baird set off on a quest to piece together the memoir and the man. In time her fingers became stained with the lead of the pencil he had used to write his manuscript, as she devoted herself to understanding who he was, why he disappeared, and what legacy she had inherited. The result of his extraordinary record and her journey to bring his name to light is He Wanted the Moon, an unforgettable testament to the reaches of the mind and the redeeming power of a determined heart.

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Winners will receive an Advance Reader’s Copy of He Wanted the Moon by Mimi Baird and Eve Claxton. Limit one entry per IP address. All fields required. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the United States (excluding Puerto Rico) and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are the age of 18 or older at time of entry. Deadline for entry is 11:59 P.M. (Eastern Time) on December 8, 2014. Void where prohibited. Read the complete rules.

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