Part Memoir, Part Social Commentary

The Polio Journals tells the story of Carol Rosenstiel, who contracted the disease in 1927 at the age of two, leaving her permanently paralyzed from the waist down.  In the 1920’s, society viewed polio as a shameful reflection of the dirty lifestyle of its victims, leading Carol’s parents to silence all issues related to their daughter’s disability.  Pushed by her parents to be exceptional in order to make up for her impairment, Carol became a successful musician, married, and raised two children.  Prior to her death in 1985, she broke her silence and poured out her memories in a series of diaries.  The Polio Journals  explores Carol’s inspiring life, probes the changing cultural landscape that impacted her lifelong quest to be accepted by others, and examines the impact of her disability on three generations of her family.

About The Author

Anne K. Gross, Ph.D., is a psychologist who has dedicated her career to working with seniors, individuals with disabilities and chronic illnesses in both medical centers and private practice. In addition to writing The Polio Journals, she has written general interest and self-help articles for print and online media, including The Denver Post, New Mobility, Special Living magazine,, and Progenitor, a literary magazine.

Dr. Gross’s previous professional positions include Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Regional Consultant for the Social Security Disability Program. She currently serves on the Denver Regional Council of Governments Advisory Committee on Aging.

Praise For The Polio Journals: Lessons from My Mother

The Polio Journals is not just a sharply observed chronicle of the ravages of disease and pain, but rather a testimony to how both the disabled and the nondisabled suffer in a culture where illness and honest suffering are shrouded in silence, secrecy, and shame.

Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

Author of The Dance of Anger

The Polio Journals is a remarkable achievement and worthy of inclusion in disability studies.

Gary Presley

The Internet Review of Books, and author of 7 Wheelchairs: A Life Beyond Polio

With the aid of her mother’s deeply honest and often harrowing journals, Anne Gross relates an elegant, moving story of a complex and extraordinary life silently defined by disability.

Kathryn Black

Author of In the Shadow of Polio: A Personal and Social History

Everyone working with the confusions and hurts of patients, not just the physically disabled but also those with invisible wounds, should read this book. Dr. Gross has written an unusual, insightful and excellent book.

James E. Gardner, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist and author of The Turbulent Teens

Any family dealing with chronic disability should find insight and wisdom from its pages.

Michael D. Shadix

Senior librarian, Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation

The Polio Journals is a compelling narrative that explores the psychological costs of polio across three generations.

Daniel J. Wilson, Ph.D.

Author of Living with Polio: The Epidemics and Its Survivors

Awards and Recognitions

2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

2012 Benjamin Franklin Award

Honorable Mention
19th Annual Writer’s Digest Book Awards

2012 Eric Hoffer Book Awards

2011 National Indie Excellence Awards

2nd Place
18th Annual CIPA EVVY Awards