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.
About the Author
Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist who teaches at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington, Indiana. She is the National Spokesperson for the Mentally Ill for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Brain Bank) and the Consulting Neuroantomist for the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute. Since 1993 she has been an active member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Her story has been featured on the PBS program Understanding Amazing Brain, among others. She was interviewed on NPR's Infinite Mind and ABC News, and was named one of The 100 of the World's Most Influential People of 2008 in Time Magazine.