In the tradition of William Styron’s tour de force Darkness Visible, The Body Broken is a gorgeously told and intensely moving account of one woman’s extraordinary odyssey into a life of chronic pain–and of the unyielding resilience of the human spirit. At age nineteen, Lynne Greenberg narrowly survived a devastating car crash. When her broken neck healed–or so everyone thought–her recovery was hailed as a medical miracle and she returned to normal life. Years later, she seemed to have it all: a loving husband, two wonderful children, a peaceful home, and a richly satisfying job as a tenured poetry professor. Then, one morning, this blissful façade shattered–the pain in her neck returned in the most vicious way. A life with physical agony ensued.
Greenberg realized that she had been living for years on borrowed time. As she and her family navigated an increasingly complicated web of doctors and specialists, Greenberg taught herself to fight her own battles–against a medical system ill-equipped to handle patients with chronic pain, and against the emotional pitfalls of a newly restricted life. Drawing on her family’s support, her own indomitable spirit, and an intense connection to the poetry she taught, Greenberg found the strength to return to a productive and satisfying–if irrevocably changed–life.This deeply personal saga takes us to the heart of a family’s struggle to survive a crisis, and shows us how, at the most profound levels, such an odyssey affects a patient’s marriage, the ability to parent, family, work, and friendships.
The Body Broken is a powerful, lyrical story of one woman’s remarkable determination and breathtaking courage, as she puts mind over matter in the struggle to reclaim her life.
From the Hardcover edition.
About Lynne Greenberg
Lynne Greenberg, the author of The Body Broken, is an associate professor of English at Hunter College. Her academic writing focuses on seventeenth-century British literature. She has a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and a Ph.D. from… More about Lynne Greenberg
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Published by Random House Mar 24, 2009| 240 Pages| ISBN 9781588367846
“We are all looking for lessons in courage. And family. And faith that some of our sweetest hours will come on the darkest days. All are here in Lynne Greenberg’s razor-sharp memoir of life and pain and the miracle of a family bound together by love.” –Diane Sawyer, ABC News
“As a fellow survivor of a body broken, I find Greenberg’s memoir to be unsparing, accurate, and moving, especially in depicting her struggle to come to terms with residual chronic pain.” –Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Inside the Halo and Beyond: The Anatomy of a Recovery
“This book describes with shattering clarity the experience of relentless, horrifying pain. Drawing on a vast range of poetic sources, it gives voice both to the author’s loss of bodily and psychic coherence and to the process of redemption that followed, and it is written with lyricism, poignance, and wit. A rare testimony to the enmeshment of our fragility and our strength, it will provide crucial solace to those who are in pain, and insight to those who love them.” –Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
“Engaging . . . a revealing, personal journey through physical trauma.” –Publishers Weekly