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Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilienceby Laurence Gonzales
Synopses & Reviews
The shark attacked while she was snorkeling, tearing through Micki Glenn's breast and shredding her right arm. Her husband, a surgeon, saved her life on the spot, but when she was safely home she couldn't just go on with her life. She had entered an even more profound survival journey: the aftermath.
The survival experience changes everything because it invalidates all your previous adaptations, and the old rules don't apply. In some cases survivors suffer more in the aftermath than they did during the actual crisis. In all cases, they have to work hard to reinvent themselves. Drawing on gripping cases across a wide range of life-threatening experiences, Laurence Gonzales fashions a compelling argument about fear, courage, and the adaptability of the human spirit. Micki Glenn was later moved to say: "I don't regret that this happened to me. [It] has been... probably the single most positive experience I've ever had."
"Gonzales (Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why), a National Magazine Award-winning journalist, tackles a difficult narrative: the near-deadly encounter and the life that must be lived afterward. The people whose stories he presents have endured trials ranging from entrapment in the jaws of a ferocious crocodile to the threat from an abusive husband. Gonzales follows these traumas into their aftermath, where the mind continues, often torturously, to repeat the incident. Gonzales, trying in part to identify common factors of postsurvival success, finds that often it is one's ability to act (go back to school, learn to play golf, motorcycle cross-country), but it is also, he suggests, the brain's wiring that makes it easier for some than for others to adapt. As in Deep Survival, Gonzales intersperses journalistic case studies with information about the brain and its responses to trauma. Such juxtapositions at times seem contrived and at odds with the emotionally charged experiences the author aims to convey. In fact, what emerges from all of the stories is that surviving survival cannot be reduced to a science or even a narrative. But for this reason the book will likely be useful for those with resonating experiences: the cases provide multidisciplinary evidence that nobody struggles in isolation. Agent: Gail Hochman. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Illness. Divorce. Job Loss. The Death of a loved one. You don't get this far in life without experiencing some adversity. But while you can't avoid painful events, you can learn to control your response to them. Here, [Gonzales] revals how recovery can be a transforming experience that not only moves us forward but also enriches our lives in ways we never could have imagined." More Magazine
You have survived the crisis — trauma, disease, accident, or war — now how do you get your life back?
About the Author
Laurence Gonzales is the author of the bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. He has won two National Magazine awards and the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.
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