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A Childhood Tragedy Gives Insights into Language Learning

Russ Rymer is a journalist who has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. He has just written his first book, "Genie," about the discovery in 1970 of a thirteen year old girl who had lived her entire life locked in a room of her parent's house. Genie had no language or social skills. Her discovery coincided with a raging debate among scientists about the origin of language. Michael Dorris writes about the book, "At once a scientific detective story and an examination of professional ethics. . . disturbing, enlightening, and impossible to forget."

22:44

Other segments from the episode on April 9, 1993

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, April 9, 1993: Interview with Russ Rymer; Interview with David Dellinger; Review of Calvin Trillin's book "Remembering Denny."

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