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Description - Time Out of Mind by Jane Lapotaire

Who are you when your brain is not you?' Jane Lapotaire is one of the lucky ones. Many people do not survive, let alone live intelligently and well again once they have suffered cerebral haemorrhage. In the long haul back to life - 'nearly dying was the easy bit' - she's learned much, some of it very hard lessons. Some friendships became casualties; family relations had to be redefined; and her work as an actress took a severe battering. The stress of living is felt that much more keenly when 'sometimes I still feel as if I am walking around with my brain outside my body. A brain still all too available for smashing by noise, physical jostling, or any form of harshness'. But she has survived and now believes it herself when people say how lucky she is. This is a very moving, darkly funny, honest book about what happens when the 'you' you've known all your life is no longer the same you.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781844080557
ISBN-10: 1844080552
Format: Paperback
(200mm x 126mm x 16mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 5-Feb-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Time Out of Mind by Jane Lapotaire

Book Reviews - Time Out of Mind by Jane Lapotaire

UK Kirkus Review » Paris, January 11th 2000; in the middle of delivering a Shakespearean masterclass, Jane Lapotaire suffered a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage. Although it took her some time to realize it, she was one of the lucky ones - she survived and went on to write this powerful account of her illness, treatment and eventual recovery, an account both shocking in its brutal honesty and profoundly moving in its portrayal of one woman's personal battle to come to terms with the new person she has become. The events of January 2000 could have marked the beginning of Lapotaire's own personal tragedy, but in this memoir she allows us to travel those tortuous years with her, to share her wild mood swings, her fits of depression; her sudden loathing for complete strangers and her overpowering love for those who show genuine compassion; her bitter frustration with the petty bureaucracy of the Health Service and her intense gratitude for those health professionals who extend humanity and understanding rather than drugs and insensitive advice. If Lapotaire is harsh on those around her, she is devastatingly cruel to herself. Time and again she berates herself for thoughtless cruelties to old friends, outbursts of temper on the telephone and intense irritability with anyone who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. On her painful journey towards recovery, she loses some dear friends, people who have made incredible sacrifices for her, and she does not shirk from admitting the part her brain injury played in the collapse of these relationships. Yet Lapotaire is a survivor. She doesn't glamorise her illness, and freely admits surviving is harder than just giving up - the first chapter is appropriately titled, 'Dying Would be the Easy Bit'. Her writing is fresh, vital and intensely personal - she opens her heart and her soul to the reader with an utter lack of self-consciousness. The humiliations of her illness are here, as well as the little triumphs, and she describes the rawness of being out in society with her injury in almost painful detail. This is a book full of sorrow and pain, but there is also joy; the joy of a woman who has battled and survived - losing love but also finding it; seeing her career fall away and yet still able to inspire a class of students to spontaneous applause. By her own admission, Lapotaire is stubborn, demanding, impulsive, reckless and downright rude. Yet the woman who emerges from this wonderful book is one who eventually realizes that there is a life for her, a world where she will always be valued by the people who love her. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Jane Lapotaire

Jane Lapotaire has been a leading member of the National Theatre and the RSC for more than thirty years. She holds a visiting fellowship at Sussex University and teaches at the Actors' Centre and the British American Drama Academy. She lives in Warwickshire and south London.

Books By Jane Lapotaire

Everybody's Daughter, Nobody's Child by Jane Lapotaire
Paperback, April 2007