From childhood, acclaimed novelist A. Manette Ansay trained to become a concert pianist. But when she was nineteen, a mysterious muscle disorder forced her to give up the piano, and by twenty-one, she couldn't grip a pen or walk across a room. She entered a world of limbo, one in which no one could explain what was happening to her or predict what the future would hold.
At twenty-three, beginning a whole new life in a motorized wheelchair, Ansay made a New Year's resolution to start writing fiction, rediscovering the sense of passion and purpose she thought she had lost for good.
Thirteen years later, still without a firm diagnosis or prognosis, Ansay reflects on the ways in which the unraveling of one life can plant the seeds of another, and considers how her own physical limbo has challenged—in ways not necessarily bad—her most fundamental assumptions about life and faith.
Luminously written, Limbo is a brilliant and moving testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.
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About the Author
A. Manette Ansay is the author of eight books, including Vinegar Hill, Midnight Champagne (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Blue Water. She has received the Pushcart Prize, two Great Lakes Book Awards, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches in the MFA writing program at the University of Miami.
Hometown:Port Washington, Wisconsin; now lives in New York City
Date of Birth:1964
Place of Birth:Lapeer, Michigan
Education:MFA, Cornell University, 1991
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was an excellent memoir. Ms. Mansay seems much wiser than her years. As a person with physical disabilities myself, I found her outlook realistic, but still uplifting. She really hits a chord when she describes our society's tendency to blame the sickness on the person afflicted. Her comparison of herself and her father was moving. I thought she portrayed her family in a loving, supportive light. I found much insight into the human condition in this book, and would recommend it to anyone.
Ansay does a beautiful job of describing her childhood in rural Wisconsin, her stuggle with faith and the disability that took away her dream of becoming a concert painist. She pulls readers into the story, and by the end of the book she shows readers what a gift having a disability can be. Her disabilty strengthened her faith and made her life what it is today.
Oh my God, can this incredibly gifted author write!!!! This was one of the best reads for me in years! This memoir wrapped a fishnet around me and gently pulled me in. This book is so descriptive and moving; you truly ache with Ann's pain, both literally and figurative, in various moments/months of her life. Few people would continue to be so driven, when facing so many obstacles. Ann continually seeks the beauty in hours of piano practice, when strangers or relatives disappoint her. When her health attacks her passion for music, she must do an enormous u-turn, and seek a new passion; thankfully for us, she discovers that she can WRITE. I plan to buy everything she has written. A bonus for me, is that we have both lived in Wisconsin. Her love of rolling hills, barns, dairy cows and hard work, seeps into your bones. Hated for this memoir to end! You must buy this book. I recommend a hardback, if you can find one! You will want to re-read this. Ann, please come back to Madison to read from your latest book!
A really tragic story but very uplifting all the same. The human spirit is truly remarkable, and I was surprised to learn the author's identity at the end...
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