A Stroke of Genius: Illness and Self-Discovery

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9780670849567: A Stroke of Genius: Illness and Self-Discovery

For celebrated novelist Paul West, any challenge is a chance for self-exploration. A modern-day Job, beseiged over the last few years by a multitude of illnesses, West orchestrates his constellation of illnesses into a kind of opera of the body and mystery of health in the voluptuous prose, shot with humor, that has earned him his reputation.

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From Library Journal :

Erudite, breathless novelist West (author of more than 20 books, including Love's Mansion, LJ 9/1/92) here directs his overdriven mind and expansive imagination inward to a consideration of the series of illnesses that have plagued him in recent years-migraines, a stroke, heart disease, diabetes-and the psychological implications of being sick. The result is a monolog worthy of his most masterful fictional narrators, at once funny, gross, poignant, and scalpel-like in its precision. (West's commentary on the insensitivity of physicians will ring bells with anyone who has ever been a patient.) This is finally an odd and oddly intimate book in that the scope is (appropriately, of course) so self-centered. Excellent for collections in the health and social sciences and for the sort of literate readers who enjoy West's fiction; those interested in the literature of migraine headaches will also find this book interesting for its vivid descriptions. [For another novelist's account of his own illness, see Reynold Price's A Whole New Life, LJ 3/1/94.-Ed.]-Mark L. Shelton, Worcester, Mass.
--Mark L. Shelton, Worcester, Mass.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly :

This memoir of prize-winning novelist West's (Love's Mansion) bouts with stroke, heart disease, diabetes and migraines is lushly metaphorical, mordant and ultimately moving. The sardonic pun of the title reflects the author's ambivalence: he never fully recovers from the assaults of illness, but his abrupt initiation into the processes that keep the body in motion fascinates him: "In death's anteroom," he writes, "I was becoming... a stranger to myself, whom I got to know and sometimes to like." West delights in the ornate etymologies of medical terminology; his pacemaker is "the toy that tweaks me"; and the dazzling shows of light that accompany his migraines are "the silent movie of your brain eyeing itself." Though he lashes out at the arrogance of medical professionals and their "despotic indifference" to the patient's peace of mind, he offers here largely a survivor's celebration of the durability of his body and soul.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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West, Paul
Edité par Viking (1995)
ISBN 10 : 0670849561 ISBN 13 : 9780670849567
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Paul West
Edité par Viking Adult (1995)
ISBN 10 : 0670849561 ISBN 13 : 9780670849567
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West, Paul
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ISBN 10 : 0670849561 ISBN 13 : 9780670849567
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