A jaunty memoir covering both the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the torments of Tourette’s syndrome.
Hanagarne’s coming-of-age was marred by the urge to blink and bark, hoot and yowl. The independent tics that still visit him trigger not only uncontrolled noises, but disconnected movements, which can be distressing and painful. Neither the brawny author’s warm Mormon upbringing nor his assiduous weight training were sufficient to prevent the unwelcome, surprise visits by “Misty” (“Miss Tourette’s”). Hanagarne’s first crush was for Fern, heroine of Charlotte’s Web. His love of reading—boys’ books, girls’ books, the complete works of Stephen King or Agatha Christie, among many others—provided refuge from the taunts of schoolmates, and that love has abided. His day job is appropriate: He is a librarian at Salt Lake City’s public library, where Misty has little influence. Hanagarne is quite passionate about libraries, expressing more enthusiasm on the subject than he does on his relationship to his church. Mormon missionary work and higher education did not fit well with the recurring spasms; fitness training helped some. Even better was his marriage, an especially important part of the Mormon way of life. Now, since Tourette’s has a genetic component, he worries about his young son. Filled with patently imaginary discourse, clever invented conversation and just a hint of the inspirational, this text on how the writer copes is surprisingly amiable. Along the way, readers will learn about the workings of LDS ministration and a puzzling physical disorder.
A clever, affable story of one Mormon, his family, his vocation and his implacable ailment.