supernormal (adj.) exceeding the normal or average beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation

SUPERNORMAL is a revolutionary and illuminating examination of those who have overcome childhood adversity to become high-functioning adults. SUPERNORMAL tells the stories of a diverse group of individuals, united by the experience of transcending the most common hardships in childhood:

  • Living with an alcoholic
  • Loss of a parent through divorce or death
  • Living with a parent or sibling who is mentally ill
  • Being physically abused by a parent or sibling
  • Having a family member in jail
  • Being bullied by a family member or peer
  • Living in poverty
  • Being physically or emotionally neglected
  • Being sexually abused by a parent, teacher, sibling or some trusted other

These stories—and the science of adaptation to adversity—will show that the supernormal adult is neither a traumatized victim who is damaged beyond repair nor a snappy, elastic survivor who can simply “bounce back.” He or she is an everyday superhero who has made a life out of dodging bullets and leaping over buildings, but who may feel hidden behind a mask. Our culture tends to romanticize upward mobility in all forms, but we sometimes forget about its complexities: secrets, exhaustion, alienation. Naturally, we are amazed by those who outperform their pasts, yet as we have focused on “How do they do it?” we have forgotten to keep asking, “How does it feel?”

SUPERNORMAL will change the way the world thinks about resilience as it shows that “falling up” is both more common and more complex than we acknowledge, and it will leave readers with a deep sense of understanding, belonging and compassion.