Imagine only being able to blink your eye lid. Now, imagine writing a book. In December 1995 Jean-Dominique Bauby had a massive stroke at the age of 43. When he woke from a coma 20 days later he could only blink his left eye. He was a victim of "Locked-in syndrome," an active, alert mind tied to a body incapable of movement. With the help of his assistant Bauby, he wrote this beautiful and powerful memoir. At night he would construct, edit and memorize his sentences in his head so that he could dictate them to his assistant the next day by blinking one eye lid when the correct letter was spoken. When it takes such tremendous effort to communicate, words are distilled down to their very essence. This is not a sad book or one wallowing in self-pity. It is about the human spirit and that most glorious human gift, the ability to imagine, even when the physical body is "Locked-in." Can you imagine?
Jean-Dominique Bauby died March 9, 1997, two days after the publication of his extraordinary book.
Recommended by Mary Ellen Raun