institute for documentary studies

{the work: Brian Gersten}

And Am I Born To Die?


Karen Keller has been the subject of numerous online and print articles, yet not much is known about the reclusive woman from Hibberts Gore, Maine.  A Boston Globe article from 2001 describes Karen as the lone resident of Hibberts Gore, driven to seclusion by bipolar disorder, living a rough solitary existence in the backwoods of Maine.  According to Karen, much of what has been written about her is “a crock.”  They are half-truths, and exaggerations.


Members of the media simply see Karen as a hermit or a loner, and as a result, they overlook the nuances of her story.  She has suffered from bipolar disorder for years – the result of a tortuously abusive marriage that ended in divorce.  Recently, she was diagnosed with colon cancer, Lyme disease, and mercury poisoning.  According to her doctors, Karen should have been dead years ago.


About Brian:


Brian Gersten graduated from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2012. He is currently working as a freelance writer and documentarian in Chicago, IL.

Brian Gersten

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