The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir is the true story of author Peter Gajdics’ six years in a bizarre form of conversion therapy that attempted to “cure” him of his homosexuality. Virtually imprisoned in a cult-like therapeutic house called the Styx with other heavily medicated psychiatric patients, they were all under the total authority of a violent, dominating rogue psychiatrist named “Dr. Alfonzo.” Their treatment devolved into intense primal scream therapy, weekly injections of Ketamine Hydrochloride, a dissociate drug most commonly used as an animal anesthetic, and constant pressure to abandon their birth parents and form unquestioning bonds with surrogate parents—Alfonzo, as “daddy,” and a woman hired to act and nurture them as a new “mommy.” They learned not to question Alfonzo, and to prove their loyalty by complete obedience and unpaid servitude.

The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir details Gajdics’ recovery from the therapy and somewhat successful attempt to seek legal recourse, juxtaposed against his parents’ histories of trauma: his mother’s incarceration and escape from a communist concentration camp in post-World War II Yugoslavia, and his father’s upbringing as an orphan in war-torn Hungary. Though culturally and politically dissimilar, the emotional undercurrents of each of their narratives converge at key moments throughout the memoir. Spanning decades and continents, The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir is about the dark forces of oppression and the will to survive; its themes are universal: generational trauma, childhood sexual abuse, powerlessness in the face of adversity, self-acceptance, identity, the resilience of the human spirit, and the recognition that we have within each of us a core essence that cannot be killed, or “changed.”

For further information, to receive a review copy of The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir, or to arrange an interview with Peter Gajdics, contact: Zoe Grams, ZG Communications, +1 604 336 3822,


TITLE: The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir
AUTHOR: Peter Gajdics
PUBLISHER: Brown Paper Press
CATEGORY: Nonfiction
ISBN: 978-1-941932-08-7
PAGES: 350
PRICE: $17.99 (print), $13.99 (ebook)
TRIM: 5x8
CONTACT: Wendy Thomas Russell,