Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Three Faces of Eve

is the coolest book! I grabbed this one off the shelf above The Imp of the Mind simply because its title intrigued me. I had no idea what it was about (although I should have guessed given it was in the psychology section) and that made almost like a suspense novel.

The Three Faces of Eve, by psychologists Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervy M. Cleckley, was originally published in 1957 and is one of the earliest modern accounts of multiple personality disorder. Rich in descriptive detail and ontological inquiry, the book felt more like a novel than the true account it actually is. (In other words, I never would have guessed that it was written by couple of doctors!)

Eve White was a real woman who went to her doctor complaining of severe headaches and random bouts of amnesia. The doctor, who couldn't find anything physically wrong with her, referred her to psychologists Thigpen and Cleckley and that's when the fun begins. Thigpen and Cleckley have no idea what to make of their patient, or her alter the provocative and insouciant Eve Black, but they stumble along anyway, trying to help Eve function in the world. As her marriage falls apart and she gives up her beloved daughter, Eve begins to succumb to her illness only to have a third alter emerge who changes everything. (I won't tell you anymore because I want you to be biting your nails with anticipation just like I was!)

According to Wikipedia--this information may or may not be reliable--the real woman, Chris Costner-Sizemore, was unhappy with the portrayal of her in the book and in the movie that Thigpen arranged to be made of the book. So she wrote her own entitled I'm Eve and A Mind of My Own. Those books are totally on my reading list now!


Charlotte said...

You know, I read this back in college and I'm embarrassed to admit that I can't remember what happens. Sheesh. Although I do remember being completely riveted by it! My psych teacher at the time told me though that it was a fake and not a good representation of MPD. You'll have to let me know your conclusions after you read the rest!

Sarah said...

I just saw a movie based on this book at Costco today. It was made in 1957 and actually won an oscar for best actress. It sounds like a very interesting read, i wonder how the movie compares.