The Diving-bell and the Butterfly

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Harper Perennial, 1997 - Cerebrovascular disease - 143 pages
77 Reviews

'Locked-in syndrome: paralysed from head to toe, the patient, his mind intact, is imprisoned inside his own body, unable to speak or move. In my case, blinking my left eyelid is my only means of communication.'

In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French 'Elle' and the father of two young children, suffered a massive stroke and found himself paralysed and speechless, but entirely conscious, trapped by what doctors call 'locked-in syndrome'. Using his only functioning muscle - his left eyelid - he began dictating this remarkable story, painstakingly spelling it out letter by letter.

His book offers a haunting, harrowing look inside the cruel prison of locked-in syndrome, but it is also a triumph of the human spirit. The acclaimed 2007 film adaptation, directed by Julian Schnabel, won Best Director at Cannes and was nominated for the Palme d'Or.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Nataliec7 - LibraryThing

First of all, Its amazing that this book was written by blinking a left eye. Its interesting to have a perspective on locked-in syndrome which must be the worse imaginable thing to have a sound mind ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dele2451 - LibraryThing

To dictate a book entirely by blinking one eye is an astonishing feat in itself. To dictate one this good is just shy of a miracle. Our world owes a significant debt of gratitude to Claude Mendibil for helping Mr Bauby set his words free. Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Jean-Dominique Bauby was born in Paris in 1952. He was the editor-in-chief of French 'Elle'. In 1996 he set up ALIS (Association du Locked-In Syndrome). He died on 9 March 1997.

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