A real-life neurological mystery—and a captivating story of personal reinvention—by the New York Times bestselling author of The Daring Book for Girls.
Nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing
Andrea Buchanan lost her mind while crossing the street one blustery March morning. The cold winter air triggered a coughing fit, and she began to choke. She was choking on a lot that day. A sick child. A pending divorce. The guilt of failing as a partner and as a mother. When the coughing finally stopped, she thought it was over. She could not have been more wrong.
When she coughed that morning, a small tear ripped through her dura mater, the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. In this luminous and moving narrative, Andrea reveals the astonishing story of this tumultuous year—her fraught search for treatment; how patients, especially women, fight to be seen as reliable narrators of their own experiences; and how her life-altering recovery process affected both her and her family.