Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Memoir: You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know


In 2010, I was moved when reading Oliver Sacks’ A Neurologist’s Notebook: Face-Blind; Why are some of us terrible at recognizing faces?  (Since the full article isn’t available for free, try listening to a related interview with Oliver Sacks here.)

Since then, I’ve been personally interested in prosopagnosia (the inability to recognize faces and places.) The symptoms that I have are substantially less pronounced than those described by Sacks, but they are present. I was able to determine that I wasn’t simply a hypochondriac after speaking with a researcher who I found through this organization.

Heather Seller’s memoir, You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know, continues to clarify the experience of someone with prosopagnosia in a well-written book. I quite literally finished the book in two days because I couldn’t put it down. There are two chronological narratives throughout the book: the past and a more recent present. Sellers presents events as they happened and offers the reader a chance to experience the same, “aha!’ moments that she did. And there are many of these moments.

For more on the book, watch this video trailer for the book or visit the author’s site.

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