"Transformative...[Taylor's] experience...will shatter [your] own perception of the world."—ABC News
The astonishing New York Times bestseller that chronicles how a brain scientist's own stroke led to enlightenment
On December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven- year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As she observed her mind deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life-all within four hours-Taylor alternated between the euphoria of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace, and the logical, sequential left brain, which recognized she was having a stroke and enabled her to seek help before she was completely lost. It would take her eight years to fully recover.
For Taylor, her stroke was a blessing and a revelation. It taught her that by "stepping to the right" of our left brains, we can uncover feelings of well-being that are often sidelined by "brain chatter." Reaching wide audiences through her talk at the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference and her appearance on Oprah's online Soul Series, Taylor provides a valuable recovery guide for those touched by brain injury and an inspiring testimony that inner peace is accessible to anyone.
In 1996, 37-year-old neuroanatomist Taylor experienced a massive stroke that erased her abilities to walk, talk, do mathematics, read, or remember details. Her remarkable story details her slow recovery of those abilities (and the cultivation of new ones) and recounts exactly what happened with her brain. Read proficiently by the author, this is a fascinating memoir of the brain's remarkable resiliency and of one woman's determination to regain her faculties and recount her experience for the benefit of others. Taylor repeatedly describes her "stroke of insight"-a tremendous gratitude for, and connection with, the cells of her body and of every living thing-and says that although she is fully recovered, she is not the same driven, type-A scientist that she was before the stroke. Her holistic approach to healing will be valuable to stroke survivors and their caregivers, who can pick up suggestions from Taylor's moving accounts of how her mother faithfully loved her back to life. A Viking hardcover.
Just amazing and wonderful book!
Too text booky
I am a Physical Therapist and read this book for the patient perspective aspect. The relatively brief account of the acute stroke was absolutely the best part of the book and I am so glad that she was willing to relive these details in print. As a clinician who treats stroke survivors and their families, I appreciated the appendices as well.
The story would best be told as a short story in a magazine like Reader's Digest. At the beginning of the book I found myself saying, "get to the morning of the stroke already". By the end of the book, I felt like the author was perseverating on the right hemisphere concept, saying the same thing over and over again. I did not even bother to read the last 20 pages for this reason as every spot check revealed repitition of her fascination with the right hemisphere.
I was looking for more detail about her acute stroke deficits. While the book was clear that her main issues were language and memory, there was some indication that she initially had motor deficit as well. However, she was discharged home after only 5 days. Also curious why the surgery was not done immediately.
I would only recommend the middle of this book.
Great personal account
I am a college student pursuing occupational therapy. I thought this book was well-written because it not only touched on the physiological mechanisms behind the author’s stroke and recovery, but also the psychological side. I found the author’s perspective about the left and right hemispheres to be interesting, considering she is founded in “hard science.” A great read!