After A Stroke At 33, A Writer Relies On Journals To Piece Together Her Own Story

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Strokes On The Rise Among Younger Adults

On having an “invisible” disability It was frustrating. So people also didn’t treat me any differently. When I told people that I was sick and I needed them to slow down, along with that came this need to explain my position and I … So it’s literally living in the moment. felt a lot of resentment for having to do with that. On experiencing depression during her recovery When I was in the hospital recovering I got literature that said that depression is a part of recovery from stroke … It was not pleasant for the people around me. “My doctors instructed me to log happenings with timestamps in my Moleskine journal. No. She remembers looking at the phone and thinking to herself: What is the phone number for 911? Days later, she learned she’d had a stroke. So it was quite pleasant. I couldn’t think of the past. … Hey, I’m going through a crisis. I was experiencing something that people go to yoga and Zen retreats to achieve. So it was very isolating. She talks with NPR’s Scott Simon about the silver linings of memory loss and the unexpected grief that came with her recovery. On the other hand, I was also privileged to be disabled in a way that wasn’t visible. On the one hand, you want people to know: Hey, slow down for me. When people get sick there’s a lot of grieving involved. and I remember thinking: What? That, they said, would be my working short-term memory. “I had a 15-minute short-term memory, like Dory the fish in Finding Nemo,” Lee wrote in a Buzzfeed essay chronicling her experience. Even when we have the flu we get bummed out about things we’re missing out on — the fact that we can’t get up out of bed, and our lost capabilities at that time. She was a writer who now couldn’t recall words or craft sentences. Suddenly, she could hold things in her mind for only 15 minutes at a time. Interview Highlights On what it’s like to have a 15-minute memory You don’t even fathom the magnitude of your loss — or at least I didn’t. I couldn’t plan for the future. My memento to my mori.” Lee used those journals to reconstruct her experience in a new memoir called Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember. She was 33, and her world turned upside down — as in, she literally saw the world upside down. Kristyn Stroble/Harper Collins

On New Year’s Eve, 2006, Christine Hyung-Oak Lee developed a splitting headache. I’m going to be so happy when my brain is better. But in that period of my recovery, where I couldn’t remember everything, I think I was incredibly at peace and happy. Christine Hyung-Oak Lee’s short fiction and essays have appeared in Guernica, The Rumpus, The New York Times and BuzzFeed. I had no regrets.

‘There Is No Good Card For This’: What To Say When ‘Condolences’ Isn’t Enough

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Always Go To The Funeral

Enlarge this image So, yeah, we do feel like this sort of internal pressure to come up with a silver lining. And I think a lot of what we go into in the book is that we operate under the assumption that we need to find the right words, and the good news is that Oprah can’t even do that. According to McDowell, pointing to a silver lining can make a person feel like their pain is being minimized. … That’s the one thing we all have in common is that we’re all gonna die. And when you are a person who is going through something, that feels like your pain, which is very real, is being minimized. And so you kind of are off the hook in that really all you need to say is, “I’m here,” and “I’m thinking about you,” and “How are you doing today?” and then let the person talk. Emily McDowell Studio/Courtesy of Harper Collins

On what you should say to a sick or grieving loved one Really, I think it’s all about listening. Nobody can do that. On the problem with finding a silver lining instead of allowing someone to be angry or sad Culturally, we’re just not comfortable with a lot of those emotions and anything that I call “death adjacent,” where the end could potentially result in death — which is ironic because all of our lives will result in death.

3 Romances To Remind You That Love Is All Around — All Year Long

or what to read for a delicious night in. Mareike Standow/EyeEm/Getty Images

It’s Valentine’s Day, which means it’s time of year to revel in the outward displays of love — be it flowers, chocolates, or wine. It’s also the time of year when romance novelists are suddenly in hot demand for our expertise on dramatic displays of affection, the perfect romantic evening out … Yes, it is Valentine’s Day — but we like romance novels all year ’round. These three romance novels have all that and more — the passion and complications, tender gestures and romantic declarations, and beautiful happy-ever-afters. In these novels, love is always front and center, and the central relationship is often as complicated as it is passionate. The swoon-worthy declarations of love that regularly occur approximately three quarters of the way through the story derive their power not from over the top displays, but heartfelt and honest words. Authors and readers of the genre know that romance is more than a once-a-year affair. The guaranteed happy ending reminds us that love is more than just a day, and more than just a display, and it’s always worth fighting for. On their own, each one would make for a romantic night in — but they’d pair well with flowers, chocolate and wine, too.

Author Philip Pullman Announces A Follow-Up Trilogy To ‘His Dark Materials’

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But that doesn’t mean what you might expect, Pullman told NPR editor Glen Weldon. The second and third volumes will be set ten years after the original trilogy’s conclusion, and will follow Lyra as a young woman. “That’s what I really wanted to explore in this new work,” he said. The original His Dark Materials trilogy consists of three volumes (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) published between 1995 and 2000. you don’t have to read it before you read [the original trilogy] … “The [new] story begins before His Dark Materials and continues after it,” he said, “… The first book of the new series, which will collectively be called The Book of Dust, is set for publication on October 19. The Book of Dust will return to the world(s) and characters of His Dark Materials, Pullman said, and Lyra will be integral to the new story — but not in the way she was before. “More about the nature of Dust, and consciousness, and what it means to be a human being.”
Philip Pullman To Follow-Up ‘His Dark Materials’ Trilogy

Philip Pullman To Follow-Up ‘His Dark Materials’ Trilogy

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Pullman has already followed up the original trilogy with two novellas and an audiobook. The series has sold over 17.5 million copies and been translated into 40 languages. The first book of a new series will be published in Fall 2017. Max Nash/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The hugely successful fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials will be getting a “companion” trilogy, author Philip Pullman announced this evening. The first volume will take place a decade before the events of His Dark Materials, when Lyra is an infant. this is another story that comes after it, so it’s not a sequel, and it’s not a prequel, it’s an equal.” The title, The Book of Dust, refers to an invisible substance that figures largely in the earlier books — a fictional elementary particle that harbors a mysterious affinity with human consciousness. The events of the first trilogy took place across several parallel worlds — including our own — and touched on disparate ideas related to theology, particle physics, and the loss of childhood innocence. Characters included a headstrong and fiercely intelligent young girl named Lyra Belacqua, and an armored, talking polar bear. I sensed the presence, in the way that you do, of another story that hadn’t been told, and I went closer and … thought about it and lived with it for a while and discovered that yes, it was a big story, and it did deserve to be told, it deserves its own books.” Interview Highlights He wants readers to consider the new work not as a simple extension of the original trilogy, but as a “companion” to it. Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, holds a copy of its concluding volume, The Amber Spyglass. He said he was motivated to revisit the world of Lyra and her companions with a full trilogy because “I sensed a big story.