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My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journeyby Jill Bolte Taylor
Synopses & Reviews
The astonishing New York Times bestseller that chronicles how a brain scientist's own stroke led to enlightenment.
On December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven-year-old, Harvard-trained brain scientist, experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As she observed her mind deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life — all within four hours — Taylor alternated between the euphoria of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace, and the logical, sequential left brain, which recognized she was having a stroke and enabled her to seek help before she was completely lost. It would take her eight years to fully recover.
For Taylor, her stroke was a blessing and a revelation. It taught her that by stepping to the right of our left brains, we can uncover feelings of well-being that are often sidelined by brain chatter. Reaching wide audiences through her talk at the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference and her appearance on Oprah's online Soul Series, Taylor provides a valuable recovery guide for those touched by brain injury and an inspiring testimony that inner peace is accessible to anyone.
"In 1996, 37-year-old neuroanatomist Taylor experienced a massive stroke that erased her abilities to walk, talk, do mathematics, read, or remember details. Her remarkable story details her slow recovery of those abilities (and the cultivation of new ones) and recounts exactly what happened with her brain. Read proficiently by the author, this is a fascinating memoir of the brain's remarkable resiliency and of one woman's determination to regain her faculties and recount her experience for the benefit of others. Taylor repeatedly describes her 'stroke of insight'-a tremendous gratitude for, and connection with, the cells of her body and of every living thing-and says that although she is fully recovered, she is not the same driven, type-A scientist that she was before the stroke. Her holistic approach to healing will be valuable to stroke survivors and their caregivers, who can pick up suggestions from Taylor's moving accounts of how her mother faithfully loved her back to life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Transformative....[Taylor's] experience...will shatter [your] own perception of the world." ABC News
"[Dr. Taylor] brings a deep personal understanding to something she long studied: that the two lobes of the brain have very different personalities." The New York Times
"Fascinating...invaluable...fearless....This book is about the wonder of being human." Robert Koehler, Tribune Media Services
A brain scientist's journey from a debilitating stroke to full recovery becomes an inspiring exploration of human consciousness and its possibilities.
Imagine waking up in a train station in India with no idea who you are or how you got there.and#160; This is what happened to David MacLean.
andldquo;A mesmerizing, unsettling memoir about the ever-echoing nature of identityandmdash;written in vivid, blooming detail.andrdquo; andmdash;Gillian Flynn, best-selling author of Gone Girl
On October 17, 2002, David MacLean andldquo;woke upandrdquo; on a train platform in India with no idea who he was or why he was there. No money. No passport. No identity.
Taken to a mental hospital by the police, MacLean then started to hallucinate so severely he had to be tied down. He could remember song lyrics, but not his family, his friends, or the woman he was told he loved. His illness, it turned out, was the result of the commonly prescribed antimalarial medication he had been taking. Upon his return to the United States, he struggled to piece together the fragments of his former life in a harrowing, absurd, and unforgettable journey back to himself.
andldquo;[MacLean] is an exceedingly entertaining psychotic . . . [A] raw, honest and beautiful memoir.andrdquo;andmdash;New York Times
andldquo;A deeply moving account of amnesia that explores the quandary of the self . . . MacLean has written a memoir that combines the evocative power of William Styronandrsquo;s Darkness Visible, the lyric subtlety of Michael Ondaatjeandrsquo;s Running in the Family and the narrative immediacy of a Hollywood action film. He reminds us how we are all always trying to find a version of ourselves that we can live with.andrdquo;andmdash;Los Angeles Times
DAVID STUART MACLEAN is a PEN/American Awardandndash;winning writer. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Ploughshares, and on the radio program This American Life. He has a PhD from the University of Houston and is a cofounder of the Poison Pen Reading Series.
and#8220;Brilliant and painful and hilarious.and#8221; and#8212;Antonya Nelson
On October 17, 2002, David MacLean and#8220;woke upand#8221; on a train platform in India with no idea who he was or why he was there. No money. No passport. No identity.
Taken to a mental hospital by the police, MacLean then started to hallucinate so severely he had to be tied down. Soon he could remember song lyrics, but not his family, his friends, or the woman he was told he loved. All of these symptoms, it turned out, were the result of the commonly prescribed malarial medication he had been taking. Upon his return to the States, he struggled to piece together the fragments of his former life in a harrowing, absurd, and unforgettable journey back to himself.
The Answer to the Riddle Is Me, drawn from David MacLeanand#8217;s award-winning This American Life essay, is a deeply felt, closely researched, and intensely personal book. It asks every reader to confront the essential questions of our age: In our geographically and chemically fluid world, what makes me who I am? And how much can be stripped away before I become someone else entirely?and#160;
About the Author
Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D., is a neuron-anatomist affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine. She is the national spokesperson at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Brain Bank), and one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World, 2008.
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