I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse?: An Illustrated Memoir

Overview

Now in paperback, the ingenious illustrated memoir that is widely praised:

“Hilarious, hell-raising, and frequently heart-wrenching.” —Booklist

“[A] unique tragicomedy of a memoir . . . The author is so likable, even in her darkest hour, that as you applaud her recovery you also realize you’ll miss looking after her.” —Entertainment Weekly (“A” rating)

“Compelling reading . ....

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (54) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $2.45   
  • Used (45) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 8 of 9
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$2.45
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Hardcover New 0761124780.

Ships from: Fayetteville, GA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$2.45
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 0761124780.

Ships from: Fayetteville, GA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$2.45
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 0761124780.

Ships from: Fayetteville, GA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.25
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(172)

Condition: New
Ships same day. Gift Quality. Tracking Included.

Ships from: Hudsonville, MI

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.00
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(10874)

Condition: New
2003-12-10 New 0761124780 NEW! ! ! Publisher overstock. Tracking is not available for orders shipped outside of the United States. If you would like to track your domestic ... order please be sure to select the Priority/Expedited Shipping option. Read more Show Less

Ships from: McKeesport, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$7.95
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(18)

Condition: New
2003 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. BRAND NEW NEW NEW...................BRAND NEW................I THINK YOU WILL BE HAPPY. YOUR SATISFACTION IS OUR ... GUARANTEE. THANKS Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 282 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

Ships from: mckee, KY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$15.98
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(283)

Condition: New
0761124780 New item in stock, may show minimal wear from storage. I ship daily. 100% Money Back Guarantee!

Ships from: FORT MYERS, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$29.51
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(323)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 8 of 9
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Now in paperback, the ingenious illustrated memoir that is widely praised:

“Hilarious, hell-raising, and frequently heart-wrenching.” —Booklist

“[A] unique tragicomedy of a memoir . . . The author is so likable, even in her darkest hour, that as you applaud her recovery you also realize you’ll miss looking after her.” —Entertainment Weekly (“A” rating)

“Compelling reading . . . Becker has turned one person’s experience into a universal story of family, healing, and the return to creativity.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“A wonderful book, funny and touching, harrowing and sweet.” —Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird

For years Suzy Becker, author of the New York Times bestseller All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat (1.7 million copies in print), literally lived by her wits. Then brain surgery left her temporarily unable to speak, read, or write. I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse? is a story that grapples with the question “What makes me me?” By turns philosophical and whimsical, rivetingly dramatic and unexpectedly light, it is illustrated with drawings, charts, pseudoserious graphs, real EEGs. The result is a book filled with insights into creativity, identity, love, relationships, family, and that intangible something that gives each of us our spark.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
“[A] unique tragicomedy of a memoir . . . The author is so likable, even in her darkest hour, that as you applaud her recovery you also realize you’ll miss looking after her.”
Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice, ‘A’)
Booklist
“Hilarious, hell-raising ,and frequently heart-wrenching.”
Booklist
Publishers Weekly
Cartoonist and writer Becker (All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat) sloughed off her repeated seizures as stress-related and lived with the strangeness of periodic episodes for three and half years, until a friend witnessed an attack in May 1999. Becker finally sought medical testing and underwent brain surgery. Her memoir loosely brackets the year around her procedure, from the initial diagnosis to the long, slow recovery, when unpredicted side effects interfered with her speech and even her thought processes. As Becker's healing slogs along at a snail's pace, she wonders, "Up until now, I didn't know things were missing until I went looking for them.... What about the things I don't think to look for?" Such problems assailed the essence of Becker's talents for being funny and easily expressing herself through words and drawing. Her struggle to recuperate has a profound effect on relationships and changes her own expectations about being a friend, lover and family member. As anyone might, Becker asks herself, "What if my life is a life I don't want to live?" But with the help of others and her slowly returning sense of humor, she eventually recreates a life she recognizes as her own, one in which she even completes a strenuous AIDS fund-raising bike ride and begins a competitive writing fellowship. Becker's deeply personal and surprisingly funny account intersperses text with such whimsical additions as Becker's "Cardiac Exercise Tolerance" and kooky cartoons. (Mar.) Forecast: A 20-city author tour and a national marketing campaign will draw in fans of Becker's previous work. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A best-selling author (All I Need To Know I Learned from My Cat), artist, and entrepreneur, Becker was also a 1993-94 White House Fellow and a 1999-2000 Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe. During much of her time at the latter, she was suffering seizures but didn't tell anyone until a friend witnessed an incident. Eventually, she was scheduled for brain surgery to remove a tumor. Writing with the dry sense of humor that some of us rely on to make it through tough situations, Becker recalls her reactions to her medical problems, from liking the first doctor who gave her no bad news ("just stress") to the terror of the eventual diagnosis. Her descriptions of the surgery and its dreadful, but temporary, effects on her ability to speak, read, write, and draw make for especially compelling reading. But Becker's memoir is also about triumphs: a 500-mile bike-a-thon, the recovery of her speech, her return to drawing, and, oh yes, the Bunting Fellowship, which gave birth to this book. Illustrating her text with drawings, charts, newspaper clippings, wacky graphs, and a cartoon alter ego named Augusta, Becker has turned one person's experience into a universal story of family, healing, and the return to creativity. Highly recommended for all collections.-Mary Nickum, Ivins, UT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Booklist
“Hilarious, hell-raising ,and frequently heart-wrenching.”
Booklist
Entertainment Weekly
“[A] unique tragicomedy of a memoir . . . The author is so likable, even in her darkest hour, that as you applaud her recovery you also realize you’ll miss looking after her.”
Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice, ‘A’)
From the Publisher
“[A] unique tragicomedy of a memoir . . . The author is so likable, even in her darkest hour, that as you applaud her recovery you also realize you’ll miss looking after her.”
Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice, ‘A’)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761124788
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/10/2003
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzy Becker is an author, artist, and entrepreneur, a former White House Fellow (the Clinton administration), a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College, a winner of the Anti-Defamation League's "A World of Difference" award, and the founder of Ride FAR (Ride for AIDS Resources). Her books include the #1 New York Times bestseller All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat, I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse?, and My Dog's the World's Best Dog. She lives with her family in central Massachusetts.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Pre—Chapter One
P R O C R A S T I N A T I O N

TERRY GROSS (host of National Public Radio’s Fresh Air): My guest is
Suzy Becker, author of I Had Brain Surgery, What’s Your Excuse? She is also the author of three other books, including All I Need to Know I
Learned from My Cat
, an international bestseller in the 1990s. Suzy,
in addition to being a writer, you are a small-business owner, teacher—

ME: Was.

TG: —AIDS bike-a-thon organizer. Writing’s not exactly a sideline, but your life isn’t the quiet, contemplative writer’s life some might imagine . . .
ME: I discovered writing at the end of my career as a cat whisperer—

TG: There’s nothing about that in your bio.

I made it up—I’m making the whole thing up. It’s a form of procrastination, I
guess—making up interviews with myself on National Public Radio when I
should be working on my book.

TG: I’m going to disappoint a lot of listeners when I admit I was not a fan of your cat book—I’m not a cat person or a big fan of gift books in general, or whatever they call that genre. Your new book is altogether different, not an All I Need to Know I Learned from My CAT
Scan
. . .
ME: It still makes a nice gift—[wait, she should say that.]

TG: It’s nonfiction, very personal, a memoir of sorts. . . . People may think, brain surgery—who wants to read about that?! I wanted to tell you—I could relate to so much of what you wrote about and I
haven’t even had brain surgery! [We laugh.] You actually began working on this book while you were still recovering, is that correct?

ME: That draft ended up being more like notes than a book.

TG: I’m curious, at what point did you know—when the neurosurgeon told you you had a tumor and you were going to need brain surgery—
devastating news for most of us—as a writer, was there some little part of you that said, “I’m going to get a book out of this”?

ME: Terry, I’m a writer, not an alien. [I AM an alien. Writers don’t waste valuable writing time making up interviews.] I was devastated by the
\ news. As a writer, I think I knew I’d write about it as a way to record the experience, maybe get some perspective, but . . .

TG: So, you were this perfectly healthy person: You were—I should say are athletic, you play volleyball, do these biking marathons, then in
May of ’99 you have a seizure. . . .

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2008

    Wonderful for whoever is having brain surgery

    A friend of mine told me about this book a few months before I too was having brain surgery. This book was wonderful in helping me prepare for it. It made me see what she had to go through pre and post surgery. I recommend this for anyone that is having brain surgery in the near future.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    The first is always the scariest...

    When I was first browsing this book in the shop, I wondered how she could have written this whole book on just one surgery. I myself am a frequent neurosurgery patient, and have had 11 surgeries in the past 14 months. As I started to read, however, I recalled how the first of my surgeries was the scariest because it was all new to me. Suzy Becker does a fantastic job of explaining her story with wit that makes me find humour in my own situation. It is important to keep a good perspective about something so crazy, and Suzy obviously does a great job in doing that.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2004

    Funny and provocative

    This book was a hoot to read! Ms. Becker dealt with a very difficult situation with much humor and courage, and she presented the experience in a writing that is at times brutally honest but unfailingly funny. As a physician I appreciate the opportunity to see a patient's perspective as well. We deal with life and death situation regularly, and it is easy to forget there is a face behind the disease. This is a must read for anyone who has a serious illness, their families, and the healthcare personnells.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)