Synopses & Reviews
This is a book that Cathy Crimmins never hoped to write: the story of how a tragic accident nearly destroyed her family; of how in a split second their lives were changed forever.
In 1996, Cathy Crimmins, her husband, Alan, and their daughter, Kelly, were on an idyllic lakeside holiday when a boating accident left Alan in a deep coma, with severe damage to the frontal lobes of his brain, the area that controls speech, memory, movement, and personality. Where Is the Mango Princess? is the story of what happened to Cathy and her family after Alan woke up.
From the frustrations of dealing with doctors ("The first doctor, whom we call Dr. Asshole, swooped down from the great Neurosurgery in the Sky to tell me he has nothing to tell me") and insurance plans ("You know what our HMO's brain surgery plan is? They give your wife a Black & Decker drill and an instruction booklet") to the enigmas of personality, mortality, and modern science, Where Is the Mango Princess? is a chronicle of an unforgettable transformation.
Crimmins's story is full of unexpected and hard-won wisdom: a reminder of the precariousness of health, of fortune, of life itself; an indictment of HMOs and the bureaucrats bred by them; a lesson in how resilient love is, and how wide its compass. Most of all, though, it is Cathy's ability to confront absurdity head-on and not be undone by it that awes and inspires us, in what may be the most miraculous, the most healing, the most uniquely human trait of all--the gift of wit, and how it held her together in the face of the worst life has to offer.
Writing with grace, candor, and remarkable clarity, Cathy Crimmins charts her husband's painful and often astonishing journey through the world of the brain-injured and takes readers on a voyage--life-affirming in even its darkest moments--through neurology, identity, and the mysteries of the human brain.
When her husband awakens from a deep, accident-induced coma, Crimmins and her family find themselves descending into a world that--like the world in "Awakenings"--is so energetically nutty, so acrobatic in its dysfunction, that her record of their days in the hospital and beyond is as much filled with laughter as it is with anguish.
About the Author
Cathy Crimmins has written several humor books, and her articles have appeared in The Village Voice, Redbook, Parents' Digest, Success, Hysteria, and Glamour, among other publications. She teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.