In 1988 Su Meck was twenty-two and married with two children when a ceiling fan in her kitchen fell and struck her on the head, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury that erased all her memories of her life up to that point. Read more...
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In 1988 Su Meck was twenty-two and married with two children when a ceiling fan in her kitchen fell and struck her on the head, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury that erased all her memories of her life up to that point. Although her body healed rapidly, her memories never returned. Yet after just three weeks in the hospital, Su was released and once again charged with the care of two toddlers and a busy household.
Adrift in a world about which she understood almost nothing, Su became an adept mimic, gradually creating routines and rituals that sheltered her and her family, however narrowly, from the near-daily threat of disaster--or so she thought. Though Su would eventually relearn to tie her shoes, cook a meal, and read and write, nearly twenty years would pass before a series of personally devastating events shattered the "normal" life she had worked so hard to build, and she realized that she would have to grow up all over again.
In her own indelible voice, Su offers us a view from the inside of a terrible injury, with the hope that her story will help give other brain injury sufferers and their families the resolve and courage to build their lives anew. Piercing, heartbreaking, but finally uplifting, this book is the true story of a woman determined to live life on her own terms.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-11-04
- Reviewer: Staff
A whack on the head by a ceiling fan when she was 22 resulted in the wiping clean of Su Meck’s memory, including marriage and the birth of two children. In this tenebrous, strangely compelling memoir, Meck, with the help of journalist Visé and many people along the way who helped fill in the gaps of her life, re-creates the freak accident in her Fort Worth kitchen that evening in May 1988 that left her with a precarious “closed-head injury.” Despite dizziness and balance issues, Meck seemed physically fine after several weeks in the hospital, though she suffered devastating memory loss (a rare form called “complete retrograde amnesia”): essentially, she did not recognize anyone from her past, including her family, and had to relearn the basic skills familiar even to a six-year-old. The challenges, of course, were enormous, especially since her husband, Jim, was often traveling for work, and the care of two small boys was overwhelming. As Meck went through the motions of being a wife and mother, she felt and acted like a “weird imposter” who was good at “copying” other people without there being any substance behind her facade of normalcy. Meck relates with excruciating honesty her journey out of oblivion. Agent, Peter Steinberg, Steinberg Agency. (Feb.)