Listening in the Silence, Seeing in the Dark: Reconstructing Life after Brain Injury

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 95%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $35.84   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   

Overview

Traumatic brain injury can interrupt without warning the life story that any one of us is in the midst of creating. When the author's fifteen-year-old son survives a terrible car crash in spite of massive trauma to his brain, she and her family know only that his story has not ended. Their efforts, Erik's own efforts, and those of everyone who helps bring him from deep coma to new life make up a moving and inspiring story for us all, one that invites us to reconsider the very nature of "self" and selfhood.

Ruthann Knechel Johansen, who teaches literature and narrative theory, is a particularly eloquent witness to the silent space in which her son, confronted with life-shattering injury and surrounded by conflicting narratives about his viability, is somehow reborn. She describes the time of crisis and medical intervention as an hour-by-hour struggle to communicate with the medical world on the one hand and the everyday world of family and friends on the other. None of them knows how much, or even whether, they can communicate with the wounded child who is lost from himself and everything he knew. Through this experience of utter disintegration, Johansen comes to realize that self-identity is molded and sustained by stories.

As Erik regains movement and consciousness, his parents, younger sister, doctors, therapists, educators, and friends all contribute to a web of language and narrative that gradually enables his body, mind, and feelings to make sense of their reacquired functions. Like those who know and love him, the young man feels intense grief and anger for the loss of the self he was before the accident, yet he is the first to see continuity where they see only change. The story is breathtaking, because we become involved in the pain and suspense and faith that accompany every birth. Medical and rehabilitation professionals, social workers, psychotherapists, students of narrative, and anyone who has faced life's trauma will find hope in this meditation on selfhood: out of the shambles of profound brain injury and coma can arise fruitful lives and deepened relationships.

Keywords: narrative; selfhood; therapy; traumatic brain injury; healing; spirituality; family crisis; children

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A teacher of literature and narrative theory at the University of Notre Dame, Johansen (The Narrative Secret of Flannery O'Connor) uses her literary skill to tell the story of her 15-year-old son Erik's recovery from traumatic brain injury after a car accident. Not knowing at first whether Erik would live or die, family members found themselves trying to understand and communicate with the medical world. Once Erik emerged from the coma, the family, with the help of medical and rehabilitation specialists, social workers, educators, and psychotherapists, sought ways to communicate with this young man, who had lost all sense of self and of everything he knew. As Erik struggled to relearn basic activities, his family and friends told him stories to help him regain his sense of self. Johansen's account of these events draws us into a world of confusion and terror and a search for understanding. The result is a deeply moving story of a struggle to selfhood and of the many contributions that make recovery from traumatic brain injury possible. Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Fdn. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520231146
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 3/22/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruthann Knechel Johansen is a professor and Associate Director of the Core Course in the College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame. Her most recent book is The Narrative Secret of Flannery O'Connor (1994).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction

Threshold One: The Impact of Vulnerability
Threshold Two: Waiting in Crisis
Threshold Three: Uncertain Deliveries
Threshold Four: Becoming Again
Threshold Five: The Scattered Self
Threshold Six: Improvisational Selves
Threshold Seven: Accepting Vulnerability
Epilogue: Crossing the Threshold

Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography

Index

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

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