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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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Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

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