A brush with a life-threatening accident spurs a writer to investigate the “hidden epidemic” of debilitating brain trauma.
In this revised version of her original 2012 publication, Canadian novelist and biographer Jeejeebhoy (Aban’s Accension, 2013, etc.) enhances the text with expanded personal detail, creating an immersive, multifaceted memoir. The author had studied neurophysiology as part of her collegiate curriculum at the University of Toronto, so she was well-versed in the consequences of brain injuries when she was involved in a major car collision in 2000. Before the accident, Jeejeebhoy was completing the manuscript for her debut biography, and her injuries put that project—and much more—on indefinite hold. These included apparent sprains and nerve problems, but investigation into nagging, chronic migraines and dizzy spells resulted in a diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury. This led to months of experimental drug treatments with a two-year duration: either the therapies would work by then, or Jeejeebhoy would likely have to endure her maladies forever. The author painfully describes the toll that her injuries took on her relationship with her husband, Mistral;her panic at losing the ability to read; and other cognitive impairments. Desperate to return to her normal life, she became intensely motivated to find a reason and resolution for her injury through determined research and treatment alternatives. Jeejeebhoy’s harrowing journey takes on new characteristics when she weaves comprehensive clinical information into her recollections. She also effectively dispels the myth that a concussion is a mild affliction and shows that secondary symptoms, such as anger and fatigue, can indeed endure for many years. She’s uniformly candid when writing about a year of devastating setbacks, which she says felt like “a massive plough that trenches through your established networks.” Toward the end of the book, she delves even deeper into the scientific neuropathological data of her treatment plan and further developments of her “labyrinthine recovery.”
Perhaps overly expository for casual readers, but the intricate details of the author’s experience are riveting and enlightening.
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").