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Situated though it is among blooming azaleas and dogwoods, The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded is emphatic: Virginians in particular and Americans in general cannot turn away from the ugliness in our identity, from an awareness of the lives upon which our lives were built. We must locate ourselves in the darkest rooms of our history, or we can never hope to see beyond them.

Poet Laura Eve Engel has written a review of Molly McCully Brown’s The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded for the Oxford American. You can read the review here.

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