You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know
On Sale: October 14, 2010
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An unusual and uncommonly moving family memoir, with a
twist that give new meaning to hindsight, insight, and
Heather Sellers is
face-blind-that is, she has prosopagnosia, a rare
neurological condition that prevents her from reliably
recognizing people's faces. Growing up, unaware of the
reason for her perpetual confusion and anxiety, she took
what cues she could from speech, hairstyle, and gait. But
she sometimes kissed a stranger, thinking he was her
boyfriend, or failed to recognize even her own father and
mother. She feared she must be crazy.
Yet it was
her mother who nailed windows shut and covered them with
blankets, made her daughter walk on her knees to spare the
carpeting, had her practice secret words to use in the
likely event of abduction. Her father went on weeklong
"fishing trips" (aka benders), took in drifters, wore panty
hose and bras under his regular clothes. Heather clung to a
barely coherent story of a "normal" childhood in order to
survive the one she had.
That fairy tale unraveled
two decades later when Heather took the man she would marry
home to meet her parents and began to discover the truth
about her family and about herself. As she came at last to
trust her own perceptions, she learned the gift of
perspective: that embracing the past as it is allows us to
let it go. And she illuminated a deeper truth-that even in
the most flawed circumstances, love may be seen and felt.
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