You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Face Blindness, and Forgiveness

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Penguin, Oct 14, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages
An unusual and uncommonly moving family memoir, with a twist that give new meaning to hindsight, insight, and forgiveness.

Heather Sellers is face-blind-that is, she has prosopagnosia, a rare neurological condition that prevents her from reliably recognizing people's faces. Growing up, unaware of the reason for her perpetual confusion and anxiety, she took what cues she could from speech, hairstyle, and gait. But she sometimes kissed a stranger, thinking he was her boyfriend, or failed to recognize even her own father and mother. She feared she must be crazy.

Yet it was her mother who nailed windows shut and covered them with blankets, made her daughter walk on her knees to spare the carpeting, had her practice secret words to use in the likely event of abduction. Her father went on weeklong "fishing trips" (aka benders), took in drifters, wore panty hose and bras under his regular clothes. Heather clung to a barely coherent story of a "normal" childhood in order to survive the one she had.

That fairy tale unraveled two decades later when Heather took the man she would marry home to meet her parents and began to discover the truth about her family and about herself. As she came at last to trust her own perceptions, she learned the gift of perspective: that embracing the past as it is allows us to let it go. And she illuminated a deeper truth-that even in the most flawed circumstances, love may be seen and felt.

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User Review  - froxgirl - www.librarything.com

The author's miserable childhood, with an alcoholic father and a paranoid schitzofrenic mother, pale next to her inability to recognize people by their faces. This condition, Prosopagnosia, has become ... Read full review

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User Review  - jmchshannon - LibraryThing

Everyone experiences forgetting someone’s name, but almost everyone can recognize faces of acquaintances and of loved ones. We know those familiar faces we see at the grocery store or at your child’s ... Read full review

Contents

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About the author (2010)

Heather Sellers is the author of the story collection Georgia Under Water and several books on writing. A poet, essayist, and frequent contributor to O: The Oprah Magazine, The Sun, and other publications, she teaches at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

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