NOT FADE AWAY by Rebecca Alexander


A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found
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One woman's story of gradually losing her sight and hearing.

From the age of 12, Alexander knew her life was going to change. Born with two recessive genes that cause type-III Usher syndrome, the author was told she would experience the gradual loss of her hearing and sight until she would be completely blind and deaf. With honesty and compassion, she details the slow, steady progression of her disease even as she tried to hide her disabilities from her friends, boyfriends and co-workers. Realizing that her world was narrowing, Alexander excelled in school, played soccer and delivered meals to HIV/AIDs patients. However, she continued to deny she had any physical ailments. Then, just after high school graduation, calamity struck. Drunk and nearly blind in the dark, Alexander stumbled off her balcony, landing 27 feet below on a stone patio; she broke every limb in her body except her right foot and leg. Multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy forced Alexander to make conscious decisions about her future. After attending the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City and attended Columbia, double majoring in social work and public health. She became a spin instructor, fell in and out of love, and continued to assess the pros and cons of her disabilities. She could shut out the never-ending sounds of the city by removing her hearing aids, but then she could no longer hear a person whisper in her ear. She couldn't really see the stars, but she loved the feel of a person signing into her hands in the dark. As she steadily accepted her fate, Alexander emphasized the importance of embracing the here and now, of being present and grateful for the gift of life, in whatever shape it might take.

An honest and eloquent look at life from someone who has lost two of her senses.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-59240-831-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Gotham Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2014


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