One Hundred Names for Love: A Memoir

One Hundred Names for Love: A Memoir

4.1 21
by Diane Ackerman
     
 

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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Finalist for the National Book Circle Critics Award
"A testament to the power of creativity in language, life—and love." —Heller McAlpin, Washington Post
No other writer can blend the science of the brain with the love of language like Diane Ackerman. In this extraordinary memoir, she opens a window into the…  See more details below

Overview

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Finalist for the National Book Circle Critics Award
"A testament to the power of creativity in language, life—and love." —Heller McAlpin, Washington Post
No other writer can blend the science of the brain with the love of language like Diane Ackerman. In this extraordinary memoir, she opens a window into the experience of wordlessness—the language paralysis called aphasia. In narrating the recovery of her husband, Paul West, from a stroke that reduced his vast vocabulary to a single syllable, she evokes the joy and mystery of the brain’s ability to find and connect words. Deeply rewarding to readers of all kinds, Ackerman has given us a literary love story, accessible insight into the science and medicine of brain injury, and invaluable spiritual sustenance in the face of life’s myriad physical sufferings.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Engrossing, affecting, sweetly funny, and mind-opening.”— Donna Seaman
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Breathtaking . . . hollowed out my chest . . . . A splendid book.”— Karen Long
New York Times Book Review
Renewed my faith in the redemptive power of love.”— Abraham Verghese
New York Times' blog "The New Old Age"
Moving… Ms. Ackerman won me over…intensely engaging… intimate.”— Paula Span
Seattle Times
“Finally, this is a story about Ackerman's love for West, a love beyond fathoming, and probably beyond words.”
Booklist - Donna Seaman
“Engrossing, affecting, sweetly funny, and mind-opening.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Karen Long
“Breathtaking . . . hollowed out my chest . . . . A splendid book.”
New York Times Book Review - Abraham Verghese
“Renewed my faith in the redemptive power of love.”
New York Times' blog "The New Old Age" - Paula Span
“Moving… Ms. Ackerman won me over…intensely engaging… intimate.”
Donna Seaman - Booklist
“Engrossing, affecting, sweetly funny, and mind-opening.”
Karen Long - Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Breathtaking . . . hollowed out my chest . . . . A splendid book.”
Abraham Verghese - New York Times Book Review
“Renewed my faith in the redemptive power of love.”
Paula Span - New York Times’ blog “The New Old Age”
“Moving… Ms. Ackerman won me over…intensely engaging… intimate.”
Paula Span - New York Times blog The New Old Age
“Moving… Ms. Ackerman won me over…intensely engaging… intimate.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393341744
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/02/2012
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Diane Ackerman has been the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in addition to many other awards and recognitions for her work, which include the best-selling The Zookeeper's Wife and A Natural History of the Senses. She lives in Ithaca, New York.

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One Hundred Names for Love 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
ReadingRoom More than 1 year ago
Besides being a book about helping stroke victims, it was a touching love story of how a wife, who new her husband well, designed a language therapy that was based on his own personality and helped him recover from a seemingly hopeless situation after suffering a stroke. You get an intimate look into their lives and the journey of recovery. The book was heartwarming and a delight to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading and identfying with the authors experience. Her ability to put in words this experience was unique and identifiable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was incredibly brave to have written such a painfully honest remembrance of a hard time and a dedication to love. Few people today can try through good and bad to love the one they're with like the author did. Read this book!
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
In "One Hundred Names for Love," Diane Ackerman managed to craft both a medical memoir, as well as a love story. She weaves the moving story of how her life and her husband's changed, as a result of his serious stroke, and how they responded together. After showing us what their life and relationship were like "before," she allows us to walk through the stages of the "after," as they walk down new paths, and create new but still loving relationship dynamics. Ackerman shares enough medical info to help us understand the effects of the stroke, and yet she doesn't get so bogged down that we lose interest. I don't want to say more; I don't want to give away any spoilers. But this is a great book, and I highly recommend it.
Birdie17 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for a specific reason: my husband had suffered a stroke 3 months earlier and he, like Ackerman's husband, was aphasic- unable to produce words. Both Ackerman and her husband are authors and words were not only the tools of their work,but also the basis of games they would play. The review indicated that the author had helped her husband regain his voice and I bought the book mainly to see what it was she did. It became clear that this couple was unique in their love of language, immersing themselves in puzzles, arcane word games- many of the words I had never heard- and word play before his stroke. For this reason, it was difficult to compare our lives to theirs. In addition, Ackerman was able, for better or worse, to be with her husband all the time,and had, as well,the benefit of a unique, dedicated assistant to help.It wasn't the "how to" guide I was hoping for. However, it is a moving memoir written by a wife who lived through this experience, and in this we shared similar paths. She spoke of the sorrow she felt in coming to terms with knowing life would never be the same and her husband would never be the same. I understood her grief and have felt it myself. I recommend this book especially to other spouses who have had to face the enormity of change that stroke forces upon your loved one and your relationship. In the end, there is always hope. Improvement is painfully slow, but it does come, and we learn to reshape our lives and move on together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The subject matter was interesting. The unconditional love shown in the book is to be admired. I did find it too "wordy" for me. I know the two main characters were "wordsmiths", but I got annoyed with that aspect of the book. It was as though the author was "showing off" their knowledge of words. 
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