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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
In 1988, Floyd Skloot contracted a brain virus, severely affecting his ability to think clearly and function in the world: "Overnight, I was geezered." But rather than sinking into isolation, Skloot spent years painstakingly writing this heroic collection of essays about his experience, and the result is astonishing. Combining a novelist's eye with a remarkable compassion for a public uncomfortable with the disabled, the result is anything but dour -- Skloot's fusion of his personal journey with accessible, yet fascinating, scientific research is insightful, moving, and downright humorous.
Like a pointillist, Skloot hones each detail of what he describes as his "spiral of lostness." First he delves into the physical reality of his brain damage, but he forges deeper still into his own past to reconstruct his identity. In his investigations, Skloot discovers that childhood abuse at the hands of his mother may have caused his brain to be more susceptible to the virus. But he isn't interested in laying blame. On the contrary, Skloot grows closer to his mother as she loses her own identity to Alzheimer's disease, to which he can relate all too well. Incredibly, he sees his own catastrophic event as an opportunity to live richly in a new way, and in doing so, he is an inspiration to us all. (Summer 2003 Selection)