A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing
W. W. Norton & Company
On Sale: April 4, 2011
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"Diane Ackerman's most enjoyable, intimate, and heartrending
work yet."â€”Atul Gawande
Everyone who cherishes the gift of language will cherish
Diane Ackerman's narrative masterpiece, an exquisitely
written love story and medical miracle story, one that
combines science, inspiration, wisdom, and heart.
One day Ackerman's husband, Paul West, an exceptionally
gifted wordsmith and intellectual, suffered a terrible
stroke. When he regained awareness he was afflicted with
aphasiaâ€”loss of languageâ€”and could utter only a single
syllable: "mem." The standard therapies yielded little
result but frustration. Diane soon found, however, that by
harnessing their deep knowledge of each other and her
scientific understanding of language and the brain she could
guide Paul back to the world of words. This triumphant book
is both a humane and revealing addition to the medical
literature on stroke and aphasia and an exquisitely written
love story: a magnificent addition to literature, period.
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