Vox Tablet

Roger Cohen Heads to South Africa To Examine His Family’s Itinerancy and Mental Illness

Jan. 21, 2015

When journalist Roger Cohen was just 3 years old, in 1958, his mother underwent electroshock treatment. Raised in South Africa, June Cohen, who was later diagnosed with manic depression, had moved with Roger’s father to England just a couple of years earlier. Immigrants in England, they’d chosen to uproot themselves from Johannesburg and the warm embrace they’d known there. Their own families were themselves immigrants to South Africa—they’d skirted the Holocaust, leaving Lithuania before the Nazi reign of terror but in a period when Europe was increasingly hostile to Jews.

Along with a genetic predisposition, Cohen believes all this dislocation may have contributed to his mother’s condition. What... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

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