"Sybil", written by Flora Rheta Schreiber, is a true story of woman possessed by sixteen personalities. Sybil suffered a traumatic childhood as a victim of the most horrifying abuse inflcited on a child. She suffers mysterious black-outs and goes onto to develop sixteen personalities (male and female) as a defense against the horrifying truths of her life that she did not want and could not face...the first case of multiple personality to be psychoanalysed, this book traces her journey back to being one whole person.
I first heard about this book in FYBA when our Psychology teacher recommended it for all those interested in multiple personalities or schizophrenia...after years of trying to find it in our college library and in bookshops, I finally found it on my trip to Ahmedabad in Oct 2002. Goes without saying that I pounced on it - devoured it within days. It left me very disturbed and sickened me with the accounts of the abuse inflicted on an infant Sybil by her own mother...but I couldn't put the book down till I reached the last page.
I maintain that it's one of the most brilliant books I've read till date! The book has also been made into an Emmy award winning film starring Oscar winner Sally Field, but I've not seen that...I'm sure it must be one hell of a powerful movie! Go for the book first, then hunt down the movie!