Take It Lying Down: Finding My Feet After a Spinal Cord Injury

Paul Dry Books
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"A stunning account."―Kirkus, starred review


“This profoundly literate memoir of courage stuns and moves, and in its ferocious honesty, delights.”―Mark Medoff, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Children of a Lesser God


“A powerful look at what goes through the mind of someone whose life changes in the blink of an eye.”―Booklist


Take It Lying Down is “a movingly intricate weave―a detailed and poetic chronicle of healing against all odds, an intense love story, a narrative of a young man’s journey from Maine to New Mexico and adulthood, and a book of literary inspiration and wisdom . . . this is not a medical book, not a self-help book: it’s a literate, occasionally theatrical, surprisingly buoyant, always philosophical and compelling journey through one man’s life.”―From the Foreword by Len Jenkin


Jim Linnell is a writer, teacher, and director. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of New Mexico and former Dean of the College of Fine Arts there. He is the author of Walking on Fire: The Shaping Force of Emotion in Writing Drama. His work has been performed in the U.S. and abroad in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel. Linnell helped establish the MFA degree in Dramatic Writing at the University of New Mexico and an annual festival of new plays that now bears his name. He received his doctorate in directing from UC Berkeley. He and his wife live south of Albuquerque next to the Rio Grande; together they have three children and six grandchildren.

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About the author

Jim Linnell is a writer, teacher, and director. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of New Mexico and former Dean of the College of Fine Arts there. He is the author of Walking on Fire: The Shaping Force of Emotion in Writing Drama. His work has been performed in the U.S. and abroad in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel. Linnell helped establish the MFA degree in Dramatic Writing at the University of New Mexico and an annual festival of new plays that now bears his name. He received his doctorate in directing from UC Berkeley. He and his wife live south of Albuquerque next to the Rio Grande; together they have three children and six grandchildren.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Paul Dry Books
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Published on
Aug 15, 2019
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9781589881358
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Medical (incl. Patients)
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Furiously Happy meets Elaine Lui in this truly original—and surprisingly hilarious—memoir about one woman’s journey to learn how to walk after a debilitating diagnosis turned her life upside down.

Learn How to Walk (Again) To-Do List:
Step 1: Stand
Step 2: Step
Step 3: Pee (Yes!)
Step 4: Walk with walker
Step 5: Walk with sticks
Step 6: Walk without props
Recreational interlude for sex
Step 7: RUN!

Ruth Marshall—power mom, wife, actor, and daughter—was in great health, until one day, her feet started to tingle. She visited doctors and specialists for tests, but no one could figure out the cause of her symptoms. Was she imagining those pesky tingles? She tried to brush it off, even as she tripped over curbs and stumbled into people. Clumsiness is charming, right?

But when Ruth suddenly couldn’t feel her legs at all, she knew something was terribly wrong. Her fears were confirmed by an MRI revealing a rare tumour that had been quietly growing on her spine for more than a decade. Within days, surgery was scheduled, and after the intense eight-hour ordeal, Ruth woke up to find her legs and feet had forgotten how to do...well, everything. The question that burned in her mind was, “Will I ever walk again?”

What Ruth thought would be three days in the hospital turned into months of rehabilitation as she relearned not only how to walk, run, pee, and even have sex again, but how to better appreciate everyone around her—including her devoted husband, her two young sons, her worried parents, her sisters, her loving friends, and the caring staff at the rehab center who help her tackle her recovery head-on.

Laugh-out-loud outrageous and searingly honest, this is a memoir that not only entertains but inspires readers to put their best foot forward and walk off anything life throws their way.
A PEN / E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award Finalist

A real-life neurological mystery and captivating story of reinvention by the New York Times bestselling author of The Daring Book for Girls.

Andrea Buchanan lost her mind while crossing the street one blustery March morning. The cold winter air triggered a coughing fit, and she began to choke. She was choking on a lot that day. A sick child. A pending divorce. The guilt of failing as a partner and as a mother. When the coughing finally stopped, she thought it was over. She could not have been more wrong.

When she coughed that morning, a small tear ripped through her dura mater, the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. But she didn’t know that yet. Instead, Andrea went on with her day, unaware that her cerebrospinal fluid was already beginning to leak out of that tiny opening.

What followed was nine months of pain and confusion as her brain, no longer cushioned by a healthy waterbed of fluid, sank in her skull. At a time in her life when she needed to be as clear-thinking as possible?as a writer, as a mother, as a woman attempting to strike out on her own after two decades of marriage?she was plagued by cognitive impairment and constant pain, trapped by her own brain—all while mystifying doctors and pushing the limits of medical understanding.

In this luminous and moving narrative, Andrea reveals the astonishing story of this tumultuous year—her fraught search for treatment; how patients, especially women, fight to be seen as reliable narrators of their own experiences; and how her life-altering recovery process affected both her and her family.

The mind-brain connection is one of the greatest mysteries of the human condition. In some folklore, the cerebrospinal fluid around the brain is thought to be the place where consciousness actually begins. Here, in the pages of The Beginning of Everything, Andrea seeks to understand: Where was “I” when I wasn’t there?

In this bold new way of looking at dramatic structure, Jim Linnell establishes the central role of emotional experience in the conception, execution, and reception of plays. Walking on Fire: The Shaping Force of Emotion in Writing Drama examines dramatic texts through the lens of human behavior to identify the joining of event and emotion in a narrative, defined by Linnell as emotional form.

Effectively building on philosophy, psychology, and critical theory in ways useful to both scholars and practitioners, Linnell unfolds the concept of emotional form as the key to understanding the central shaping force of drama. He highlights the Dionysian force of human emotion in the writer as the genesis for creative work and articulates its power to determine narrative outcomes and audience reaction.

Walking on Fire contains writing exercises to open up playwrights to the emotional realities and challenges of their work. Additionally, each chapter offers case studies of traditional and nonlinear plays in the known canon that allow readers to evaluate the construction of these works and the authors’ practices and intentions through an xamination of the emotional form embedded in the central characters’ language, thoughts, and behaviors. The plays discussed include Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Athol Fugard’s “MASTER HAROLD”. . .and the boys, Donald Margulies’s The Loman Family Picnic, Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.

Walking on Fire opens up new conversations about content and emotion for writers and offers exciting answers to the questions of why we make drama and why we connect to it. Linnell’s userfriendly theory and passionate approach create a framework for understanding the links between the writer’s work in creating the text, the text itself, and the audience’s engagement.

“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • The Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg Business • Bookish

FINALIST FOR THE BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE FIRST BOOK AWARD • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
 
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.
 
In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.

Praise for The Reason I Jump

“This is an intimate book, one that brings readers right into an autistic mind.”—Chicago Tribune (Editor’s Choice)

“Amazing times a million.”—Whoopi Goldberg, People

“The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . This book takes about ninety minutes to read, and it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human.”—Andrew Solomon, The Times (U.K.)

“Extraordinary, moving, and jeweled with epiphanies.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Small but profound . . . [Higashida’s] startling, moving insights offer a rare look inside the autistic mind.”—Parade
A former paramedic’s visceral, poignant, and mordantly funny account of a decade spent on Atlanta’s mean streets saving lives and connecting with the drama and occasional beauty that lies inside catastrophe.

In the aftermath of 9/11 Kevin Hazzard felt that something was missing from his life—his days were too safe, too routine. A failed salesman turned local reporter, he wanted to test himself, see how he might respond to pressure and danger. He signed up for emergency medical training and became, at age twenty-six, a newly minted EMT running calls in the worst sections of Atlanta. His life entered a different realm—one of blood, violence, and amazing grace.

Thoroughly intimidated at first and frequently terrified, he experienced on a nightly basis the adrenaline rush of walking into chaos. But in his downtime, Kevin reflected on how people’s facades drop away when catastrophe strikes. As his hours on the job piled up, he realized he was beginning to see into the truth of things. There is no pretense five beats into a chest compression, or in an alley next to a crack den, or on a dimly lit highway where cars have collided. Eventually, what had at first seemed impossible happened: Kevin acquired mastery. And in the process he was able to discern the professional differences between his freewheeling peers, what marked each—as he termed them—as “a tourist,” “true believer,” or “killer.”

Combining indelible scenes that remind us of life’s fragile beauty with laugh-out-loud moments that keep us smiling through the worst, A Thousand Naked Strangers is an absorbing read about one man’s journey of self-discovery—a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.
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