A Stitch of Time: The Year a Brain Injury Changed My Language and Life (Hardcover)
For fans of Brain on Fire and My Stroke of Insight, an incredible first-person account of one woman’s journey to regaining her language and identity after a brain aneurysm affects her ability to communicate.
Lauren Marks was twenty-seven, touring a show in Scotland with her friends, when an aneurysm ruptured in her brain and left her fighting for her life. She woke up in a hospital soon after with serious deficiencies to her reading, speaking, and writing abilities, and an unfamiliar diagnosis: aphasia. This would be shocking news for anyone, but Lauren was a voracious reader, an actress, director, and dramaturg, and at the time of the event, pursuing her PhD. At any other period of her life, this diagnosis would have been a devastating blow. But she woke up...different. The way she perceived her environment and herself had profoundly changed, her entire identity seemed crafted around a language she could no longer access. She returned to her childhood home to recover, grappling with a muted inner monologue and fractured sense of self.
Soon after, Lauren began a journal, to chronicle her year following the rupture. A Stitch of Time is the remarkable result, an Oliver Sacks–like case study of a brain slowly piecing itself back together, featuring clinical research about aphasia and linguistics, interwoven with Lauren’s personal narrative and actual journal entries that marked her progress. Alternating between fascination and frustration, she relearns and re-experiences many of the things we take for granted—reading a book, understanding idioms, even sharing a “first kiss”—and begins to reconcile “The Girl I Used to Be” with “The Girl I Am Now.” Deeply personal and powerful, A Stitch of Time is an unforgettable journey of self-discovery, resilience, and hope.
About the Author
Lauren Marks is a Los Angeles native and a New York University, Tisch School of the Arts graduate. She spent a decade in professional theater and pursued a PhD at The Graduate Center at City University of New York. Lauren was an Emerging Voices Fellow for PEN Center USA. She has been awarded grants from the Bread Loaf Writing Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, VCCA France, Ragdale, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Yaddo, and is an active advocate for those who live with language disorders like aphasia. A Stitch of Time is her first book.
“A Stitch of Time is fascinating reading for those who want to learn how language works.” —Dr. Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain and Thinking in Pictures
“In this sometimes harrowing, sometimes funny, and always very human memoir, Lauren Marks brings us through the year an aneurysm ruptured in her brain leaving her with aphasia. How the loss and return of language changed her is a remarkable journey that she shares with intelligence and grace. A Stitch of Time will leave you hopeful and dazzled and grateful that Marks found words again and shared them with us here.” —Ann Hood, author of The Book That Matters Most and The Obituary Writer
"As an avid reader of neurologist Oliver Sacks, I’ve long been intrigued about the mysterious connections between the brain, the mind, and the imagination. But where Sacks writes about what his patients experience, we now get to hear directly from a patient. What a delight to read Lauren Marks’ A Stitch of Time! Her writing is so good and her story so compelling. I devoured the book in a single night." —Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times best-selling author of A Cast of Killers and Edgar Cayce
“Marks is a gorgeous writer and her story of healing is moving, informative but above all a great read. . . I could not put this book down.” —Heidi W. Durrow, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
"There has been over a century of research on Broca's aphasia but few accounts of patients' own experiences as they struggle to recover. A Stitch of Time is a striking exception - it's a thoughtful, introspective memoir that allows us to catch a rare glimpse of the inner mental life of such patients." —Dr. V.S. Ramachandran, author of The Tell-Tale Brain
"A Stitch of Time is a true story of resilience. Far more interesting than an 'overcomer' tale, it's a story of grit and luck and love and patience. An unforgettable read about a remarkable woman." —Emily Rapp, New York Times bestselling author of The Still Point of the Turning World and Poster Child
"When Lauren Marks suffers a hemorrhagic stroke at 27, her reading, writing, and speaking abilities dissolve. A Stitch of Time is the un?flinching, deeply moving story of how she found her words again, and discovered the powerful connection between language, memory, and identity. With intelligence and humor, Marks makes the case that who we are is who we remember ourselves to be. I'll be thinking about this book for a long time." —Jessica Fechtor, bestselling author of Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home
"Engrossing . . . A story of hope . . .Marks gives an inside account of a brain in the act of healing—including all the ups, downs, and complications—and also supplies useful information for those suffering from aphasia." —Publishers Weekly
“An illuminating debut memoir. . . .The book's self-exploration of its patient's inner voice, frightening surgical interventions, and delicate recovery is captivating. . . .Readers will be compelled by the journey of a writer whose voice, however changed, remains her own.” —Kirkus Reviews
"When Lauren Marks suffers a hemorrhagic stroke at 27, her reading, writing, and speaking abilities dissolve.
A Stitch of Time is the unflinching, deeply moving story of how she found her words again, and discovered the powerful connection between language, memory, and identity. With intelligence and humor, Marks makes the case that who we are is who we remember ourselves to be. I'll be thinking about this book for a long time." —Jessica Fechtor, bestselling author of Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home