SF Novel about woman from parallel universe who is under psychiatric care

D Man

New Member
Oct 8, 2020
This was a science fiction novel in English published no later than 1985 but probably earlier (1960s or 1970s). I read it some time in the early 1980s; it was a hardcover copy from the science fiction section of a public Library in Vermont.

The setting is our earth, "present day" whenever it was published.The novel concerns a woman who was found with no identification and does not speak any known language. The male protagonist, who might have been a psychiatrist, becomes convinced she is from a parallel universe. He can't get anyone to believe him, becomes depressed at how lonely she is, and eventually one or both of them commit suicide by walking into the ocean and (somehow) voluntarily drowning.

That's all I remember but it made a big impression on me as a child.
Welcome to the forum, D Man!

This story sounds interesting. You may want to take a look at the standard advice on how to dredge up as much detail as you can to help with an identification. Sometimes even small details that don't seem significant are the bits that trigger recognition in others.

This story sounds interesting, so I'll ask some questions that might help pull out some additional details:

  1. Do you recall anything about the author, e.g. whether it was a man or a woman, whether there were other books by the same author on the shelf, first letter or any piece of the name, or national/ethnic origin of the name?
  2. In what country does the story take place?
  3. How old was the woman in the story? How old was the man?
  4. What were the circumstances under which the woman was initially found? How did the man become involved in the case?
  5. Did the woman speak or write at all? If so, was the language that she used in any way related to a language from our world?
  6. Did she learn any of the man's language, or vice versa?
  7. What makes you think that the man was a psychiatrist? Is there any specific thing that he had or used or did that implied that?
  8. Was there any other factor than the woman's language that led the man to think that she was from a parallel universe? Anything unusual about her eye color, hair color, vital signs, etc.? Any kind of behavior or reaction?
  9. Was there anything that seemed particularly interesting or frightening to the woman?
Hopefully, the above questions will help to draw out some additional detail. I hope that someone recognizes it. Good luck!
Those are all good questions. Unfortunately I don't remember the answers to any of them. I want to say the setting was the United States but I can't even be sure of that.

I can remember being moved by the book but can't remember any actual details.