MY LEFT FOOT by Christy Brown


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This autobiographical account of a cerebral palsy victim, who for almost twenty years could only communicate with the world around him with his left foot, is not only an amazing account of the determination which can be stronger than any disability- no matter how extreme, but also a ""revelation... of the utmost need of the human soul to escape from every sort of prison"". Dublin born, and one of 22 children of which 17 survived, Christy was declared hopeless at the end of the year and believed to be mentally incompetent as well. But an unconquerable mother gave all the time she could to the child who was totally paralyzed and by the time he was five- Christy was able to prove his awareness when he grabbed a piece of chalk and learned to write with his left foot. The years of his early childhood spent largely with his brothers and in a go-cart was not preparation for the isolation which was to follow as he grew older- the loneliness and withdrawal with a box of paints (he won a contest). Adolescence brought a further despondency, the realization that he didn't want to be remarkable- only ordinary and not ""living in chains""- a pilgrimage to Lourdes proved no cure-and it was finally through Dr. Collis (who contributes the introduction) and with tremendous self-discipline that he abandoned his left foot, and gained a partial mobility, the power to speak, and the chance to develop his writing. His book, over and above the extraordinary achievement it reveals, is a testament to one man's courage, a hope for others.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster