Being with Rachel: A Personal Story of Memory and Survival

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9780393340044: Being with Rachel: A Personal Story of Memory and Survival

Two courageous spirits, mother and daughter, challenged by a new reality after a life-changing accident.

The call came at 6 A.M. Karen Brennan's twenty-five-year-old daughter, Rachel, had been in a motorcycle accident. She was in a coma. Her CAT scan, the neurosurgeon said, was very, very ugly. Instantly, Karen Brennan's life of comfortable dailiness becomes "passionate necessary-ness." Cautioned that her daughter will not be the "same person," Brennan waits and hopes through weeks of intensive care, months of coma, and Rachel's determined efforts to walk again. The joy of Rachel's first words is followed by the discovery that she has a severe short-term memory deficit. Rachel cannot remember or fashion a simple narrative. A professor with a special interest in memory, Brennan takes up the challenge of helping Rachel rebuild herself. Jump-starting her daughter's memory by constantly retelling Rachel's own story, Brennan also fosters the creativity and humor that have always characterized her daughter. Their collaborative effort, bound by love, is a dynamic memoir of recovery and reinvention. Brennan says, "Why am I writing this story? I ask myself. I am writing to discover the situation in which my daughter and I find ourselves. I am writing as a way of grieving, because writing is the only way I know how to work out my loss. And I think if I can construct the story of Rachel's recovery, it might deliver me once and for all to hopefulness." "Being with Rachel is for readers who want to be reminded of why books matter. Karen Brennan's memoir advocates, illustrates, demonstrates the superhuman power of family, its ability to triumph in the face of worst-case scenarios, institutional aloofness, bad luck, and the evil influence of conventional wisdom. The family that emerges here is one built on a great deal of passionate, difficult love. This is a tough and inspiring and heartbreaking book."―Antonya Nelson "Spare, understated, emotionally honest and yet unsentimental, this beautifully crafted memoir succeeds on two levels: both as an extraordinarily moving personal document and as a vital investigation into the nature of memory and narrative."―Andrea Barrett

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About the Author:

Karen Brennan is an associate professor at the University of Utah, where she teaches in the graduate creative writing program. She is also on the faculty of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, a low-residency MFA program. Her first collection of stories, Wild Desire, which won the Associated Writing Programs Award for Short Fiction (1990), was praised for its witty and shrewd exploration of the extraordinary lives of women.

From Publishers Weekly:

Brennan was vacationing in Mexico when she received word that her 24-year-old daughter, Rachel, had been severely injured in a motorcycle accident and was in a deep coma. Brennan rushed to her daughter's bedside at Denver General Hospital. The prognosis was poor, but Brennan's faith was steadfast through the months of the coma and the agonizingly slow discovery of the extent of Rachel's brain injuries. Brennan's devotion to her daughter was instrumental in her improvement; she stayed with Rachel in the hospital night and day, lying next to her, talking to her and monitoring her medical care and physical therapy. She also read widely about brain injury, learning about the personality changes, language problems and severe memory deficits that often ensue. Anxious to resume her life as an English professor at the University of Utah, Brennan moved back to Salt Lake City with Rachel. As Rachel began intensive therapy, her most troubling problem was losing her short-term memory. Although she was able to move about on a motorized wheelchair, she would often get lost, having forgotten where she lived. To alleviate the strain of being Rachel's sole caretaker, Brennan moved with Rachel to Tucson, where they had lived years earlier and Rachel was familiar with the terrain. They visited friends in Mexico, where Rachel seemed most comfortable, exploring her talent as an artist and living independently. Brennan, who teaches creative writing, provides readers with a compelling narrative, conveying without bathos how she and her daughter met the challenges that resulted from Rachel's terrible accident. (Mar.)Forecast: Although Brennan's writing is appealing, the interest in her story is limited, focusing almost like a medical case study on her daughter's brain injuries. While inspirational in tone, it will likely speak principally to those who face similar problems.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Karen Brennan
Editore: W. W. Norton Company, United States (2002)
ISBN 10: 039334004X ISBN 13: 9780393340044
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Descrizione libro W. W. Norton Company, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The call came at 6 A.M. Karen Brennan s twenty-five-year-old daughter, Rachel, had been in a motorcycle accident. She was in a coma. Her CAT scan, the neurosurgeon said, was very, very ugly. Instantly, Karen Brennan s life of comfortable dailiness becomes passionate necessary-ness. Cautioned that her daughter will not be the same person, Brennan waits and hopes through weeks of intensive care, months of coma, and Rachel s determined efforts to walk again. The joy of Rachel s first words is followed by the discovery that she has a severe short-term memory deficit. Rachel cannot remember or fashion a simple narrative. A professor with a special interest in memory, Brennan takes up the challenge of helping Rachel rebuild herself. Jump-starting her daughter s memory by constantly retelling Rachel s own story, Brennan also fosters the creativity and humor that have always characterized her daughter. Their collaborative effort, bound by love, is a dynamic memoir of recovery and reinvention. Brennan says, Why am I writing this story? I ask myself. I am writing to discover the situation in which my daughter and I find ourselves. I am writing as a way of grieving, because writing is the only way I know how to work out my loss. And I think if I can construct the story of Rachel s recovery, it might deliver me once and for all to hopefulness. Being with Rachel is for readers who want to be reminded of why books matter. Karen Brennan s memoir advocates, illustrates, demonstrates the superhuman power of family, its ability to triumph in the face of worst-case scenarios, institutional aloofness, bad luck, and the evil influence of conventional wisdom. The family that emerges here is one built on a great deal of passionate, difficult love. This is a tough and inspiring and heartbreaking book. --Antonya Nelson Spare, understated, emotionally honest and yet unsentimental, this beautifully crafted memoir succeeds on two levels: both as an extraordinarily moving personal document and as a vital investigation into the nature of memory and narrative. --Andrea Barrett. Codice libro della libreria APC9780393340044

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Karen Brennan
Editore: W. W. Norton Company, United States (2002)
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Descrizione libro W. W. Norton Company, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The call came at 6 A.M. Karen Brennan s twenty-five-year-old daughter, Rachel, had been in a motorcycle accident. She was in a coma. Her CAT scan, the neurosurgeon said, was very, very ugly. Instantly, Karen Brennan s life of comfortable dailiness becomes passionate necessary-ness. Cautioned that her daughter will not be the same person, Brennan waits and hopes through weeks of intensive care, months of coma, and Rachel s determined efforts to walk again. The joy of Rachel s first words is followed by the discovery that she has a severe short-term memory deficit. Rachel cannot remember or fashion a simple narrative. A professor with a special interest in memory, Brennan takes up the challenge of helping Rachel rebuild herself. Jump-starting her daughter s memory by constantly retelling Rachel s own story, Brennan also fosters the creativity and humor that have always characterized her daughter. Their collaborative effort, bound by love, is a dynamic memoir of recovery and reinvention. Brennan says, Why am I writing this story? I ask myself. I am writing to discover the situation in which my daughter and I find ourselves. I am writing as a way of grieving, because writing is the only way I know how to work out my loss. And I think if I can construct the story of Rachel s recovery, it might deliver me once and for all to hopefulness. Being with Rachel is for readers who want to be reminded of why books matter. Karen Brennan s memoir advocates, illustrates, demonstrates the superhuman power of family, its ability to triumph in the face of worst-case scenarios, institutional aloofness, bad luck, and the evil influence of conventional wisdom. The family that emerges here is one built on a great deal of passionate, difficult love. This is a tough and inspiring and heartbreaking book. --Antonya Nelson Spare, understated, emotionally honest and yet unsentimental, this beautifully crafted memoir succeeds on two levels: both as an extraordinarily moving personal document and as a vital investigation into the nature of memory and narrative. --Andrea Barrett. Codice libro della libreria APC9780393340044

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Descrizione libro W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.5in. x 5.5in. x 0.7in.Two courageous spirits, mother and daughter, challenged by a new reality after a life-changing accident. The call came at 6 A. M. Karen Brennans twenty-five-year-old daughter, Rachel, had been in a motorcycle accident. She was in a coma. Her CAT scan, the neurosurgeon said, was very, very ugly. Instantly, Karen Brennans life of comfortable dailiness becomes passionate necessary-ness. Cautioned that her daughter will not be the same person, Brennan waits and hopes through weeks of intensive care, months of coma, and Rachels determined efforts to walk again. The joy of Rachels first words is followed by the discovery that she has a severe short-term memory deficit. Rachel cannot remember or fashion a simple narrative. A professor with a special interest in memory, Brennan takes up the challenge of helping Rachel rebuild herself. Jump-starting her daughters memory by constantly retelling Rachels own story, Brennan also fosters the creativity and humor that have always characterized her daughter. Their collaborative effort, bound by love, is a dynamic memoir of recovery and reinvention. Brennan says, Why am I writing this story I ask myself. I am writing to discover the situation in which my daughter and I find ourselves. I am writing as a way of grieving, because writing is the only way I know how to work out my loss. And I think if I can construct the story of Rachels recovery, it might deliver me once and for all to hopefulness. Being with Rachel is for readers who want to be reminded of why books matter. Karen Brennans memoir advocates, illustrates, demonstrates the superhuman power of family, its ability to triumph in the face of worst-case scenarios, institutional aloofness, bad luck, and the evil influence of conventional wisdom. The family that emerges here is one built on a great deal of passionate, difficult love. This is a tough and inspiring and heartbreaking book. Antonya Nelson Spare, understated, emotionally honest and yet unsentimental, this beautifully crafted memoir succeeds on two levels: both as an extraordinarily moving personal document and as a vital investigation into the nature of memory and narrative. Andrea Barrett This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780393340044

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