Monday, October 30, 2023

Data Baby

Data Baby: My Life in a Psychological Experiment by Susannah Breslin
11/7/23; 224 pages
Legacy Lit/Grand Central Publishing

Data Baby: My Life in a Psychological Experiment by Susannah Breslin is a recommended memoir - for the right reader.

Right after Susannah Breslin was born in 1968 her parents enrolled her in an exclusive laboratory preschool at the University of California, Berkeley. She was one of over a hundred children who were research subjects in the Block Project, a thirty-year study and psychology experiment of personality development. The study was supposed to predict who the subjects would be as adults. The memoir has limited memories and revelations concerning her participation in the study and instead focuses on her various life experiences.

The description of this memoir does a disservice to the actual book Breslin wrote since the Block Project plays such a small part in the actual text. Now, the book written is not one I would have been interested in reading and reviewing. I'm not interested in the adult entertainment scene in San Francisco or the porn industry. I pushed through, hoping for more on the study she opened with. Honestly, in the end her memoir and style of writing weren't appealing for this reader. She does finally circle back to the study. The final examination of what happened to it and questions about the future were interesting.

This would have been better if it was an article about her participation in the study, skipped over the memoir bit, and then jumped forward to the final summation of her later research into it and what it could mean for the future.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley.

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