Brain on Fire

brain on fireIn a review by Sabrina Rocco of the Tampa Bay Times, Rocco shares her thoughts about Susannah Cahalan’s book titled “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness.” In the book, Cahalan recounts her journey from a talented writer for the New York Post to a vegetative state and back. Rocco notes that as the result of a rare autoimmune disorder Cahalan “became paranoid and delusional, slurred her words, drooled, and lost her memory.” In her review, Rocco suggests that Cahalan’s story, which is reconstructed “from hundreds of interviews,” includes “suspense, tension, roadblocks, [as well as] many twists and turns that move the reader along.” In conclusion, Rocco states that “Brain on Fire” is a “courageous account of an unimaginable tragedy, written with grace despite vulnerability.”

On Amazon, the review of “Brain on Fire” identifies it as a “swift and breathtaking narrative, [in which Cahalan] tells the astonishing true story of her inexplicable descent into madness and the brilliant, lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen.”

“Far more than simply a riveting read and a crackling medical mystery, ‘Brain on Fire’ is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity and to rediscover herself among the fragments left behind. Using all her considerable journalistic skills, and building from hospital records and surveillance video, interviews with family and friends, and excerpts from the deeply moving journal her father kept during her illness, Susannah pieces together the story of her ‘lost month’ to write an unforgettable memoir about memory and identity, faith and love. It is an important, profoundly compelling tale of survival and perseverance that is destined to become a classic.”


How would you describe your journey before, during, and after brain injury? Is researching and writing your story therapeutic? Who would you hope to reach with your story? What perceived obstacles are preventing you from sharing your story?

Thanks to Sabrina Rocco, Tampa Bay Times, Susannah Cahalan, O.C. Register, and Amazon for providing the book reviews that I used in this post.

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