A Stitch of Time
For fans of Brain on Fire and My Stroke of Insight, an incredible first-person account of one woman’s journey to regaining her language and identity after a brain aneurysm affects her ability to communicate.Lauren Marks was twenty-seven, touring a show in Scotland with her friends, when an aneurysm ruptured in her brain and left her fighting for her life. She woke up in a hospital soon after with serious deficiencies to her reading, speaking, and writing abilities, and an unfamiliar diagnosis: aphasia. This would be shocking news for anyone, but Lauren was a voracious reader, an actress, director, and dramaturg, and at the time of the event, pursuing her PhD. At any other period of her life, this diagnosis would have been a devastating blow. But she woke up...different. The way she perceived her environment and herself had profoundly changed, her entire identity seemed crafted around a language she could no longer access. She returned to her childhood home to recover, grappling with a muted inner monologue and fractured sense of self.Soon after, Lauren began a journal, to chronicle her year following the rupture. A Stitch of Time is the remarkable result, an Oliver Sacks–like case study of a brain slowly piecing itself back together, featuring clinical research about aphasia and linguistics, interwoven with Lauren’s personal narrative and actual journal entries that marked her progress. Alternating between fascination and frustration, she relearns and re-experiences many of the things we take for granted—reading a book, understanding idioms, even sharing a “first kiss”—and begins to reconcile “The Girl I Used to Be” with “The Girl I Am Now.” Deeply personal and powerful, A Stitch of Time is an unforgettable journey of self-discovery, resilience, and hope.

A Stitch of Time Details

TitleA Stitch of Time
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseMay 2nd, 2017
PublisherSimon Schuster
ISBN1451697511
ISBN-139781451697513
Number of pages384 pages
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography

A Stitch of Time Review

  • Brenda
    January 24, 2017
    This is a subject that I find so fascinating, the brain, how it works and how it mends after trauma. I have previously read Brain on Fire and My Labotomy: A Memoir by Howard Dully and just now finished A Stitch of Time. Not only did this book provide a lot of scientific information about the brain, research provided and presented by experts and doctors who have been intimately involved with brain study, but it also gives Lauren's insight after suffering the effects of a brain aneurysm. A Stitch This is a subject that I find so fascinating, the brain, how it works and how it mends after trauma. I have previously read Brain on Fire and My Labotomy: A Memoir by Howard Dully and just now finished A Stitch of Time. Not only did this book provide a lot of scientific information about the brain, research provided and presented by experts and doctors who have been intimately involved with brain study, but it also gives Lauren's insight after suffering the effects of a brain aneurysm. A Stitch of Time is also a personal story about Lauren's year of recovery after her brain aneurysm, it includes details on her family, friends and boyfriend (at the time) and general relationships (doctors, therapist, previous professors, the general public, etc). Lauren is a remarkable storyteller, and I have to applaud her on her first book. Lauren's presentation of scientific facts is very well done, she never lost me. Often times when reading scientific information I can be overwhelmed when writers get too technical, she kept this in check. I loved the way she explained experiencing "the Quiet". My mind is always at a chatter, so to experience this is hard to imagine, but I GOT IT from her detailed description. One of the other thought provoking points I took away from this book was the question..... "As humans, do we need language to have thoughts?" This question is so powerful. My first reaction is... Of Course! But then again....wait... maybe not. It is one of those...If a tree falls in the forest, does it make sound if no one is there to hear it?Highly recommend, I'll keep her on my radar for future books!
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  • Audrey
    February 19, 2017
    This is the perfect book for anyone in or interested in the medical field especially speech language pathology as it gives a very deep and detailed look at how important language is and how a brain injury can change it so dramatically. I would highly recommend this for a change of perspective to a patient's point of view. The biggest question I asked myself while reading this was "if I could no longer read or speak adequately enough for communication, what would I do?"
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  • Tracey
    January 16, 2017
    this truly remarkable insight into this lady’s recovery process after a brain injury. This really was such an interesting book which Lauren explains all different aspects of what actually happened to her and how she had to have a speech therapist to help her find her voice again. This is one fascinating medical journal Thank you to the publishers and netgalley for the arc xx
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  • Karen Germain
    May 9, 2017
    Thank You to Simon & Schuster for providing me with an advanced copy of Lauren Marks' memoir, A Stitch of Time: The Year a Brain Injury Changed My Language and Life, in exchange for an honest review.PLOT- Lauren Marks is just twenty-seven years old, when she suffers a brain aneurysm while karaoking at a dive bar with friends in Edinburgh. She is rushed to a hospital in Scotland and her parents catch the first flight from California to be with her, unsure if she will survive the emergency ope Thank You to Simon & Schuster for providing me with an advanced copy of Lauren Marks' memoir, A Stitch of Time: The Year a Brain Injury Changed My Language and Life, in exchange for an honest review.PLOT- Lauren Marks is just twenty-seven years old, when she suffers a brain aneurysm while karaoking at a dive bar with friends in Edinburgh. She is rushed to a hospital in Scotland and her parents catch the first flight from California to be with her, unsure if she will survive the emergency operation. Marks does survive, and in A Stitch of Time, she chronicles her recovery. Until her aneurysm, Marks was an actress and writer, her keen ability with language was a huge part of her personality. Post aneurysm, Marks has Aphasia, making it difficult for her to understand or express herself through language. Through rehabilitation, Marks is able to recover her use of language, but her life and dreams are forever altered. LIKE -Early on in her rehabilitation, Marks had the foresight to keep a journal and document her progress. Some of what she writes is incoherent and it's rampant with misspellings, however, it  offers a glimpse into the way her brain has been affected by Aphasia, and it's clear that through hard work, she has regained much of her language abilities.I was shocked when she mentioned that many doctors think that a patient has six months maximum after their accident, to regain their language, and after that time, they likely won't have significant progress. Marks is proof that this time marker doesn't mean much. As she mentions, and I'm inclined to believe, the six months seems to be more in line with money and insurance payments, rather than what is best for the patient. It hurt my heart to read about Marks' struggle with getting her insurance company to approve her much needed therapy and also that she was left saddled with debt. She doesn't mention this in great detail, but enough to have that heavy reminder of our broken health care system.I think this might be the first memoir I've read regarding brain aneurysms and Aphasia. I have been the care-taker for family members with dementia, which while not the same thing that Marks experienced, it did leave me interested in the subject of brain injuries and how the brain works. Marks does a wonderful job at explaining scientific and medical terminology in a way that makes it accessible for any reader. She also does a great job at blending the medical world with her personal life, giving her memoir balance. When she had her aneurysm, Marks had to leave her life in NYC, where she about to start teaching, to move back home with her parents in California. She was essentially stripped of the direction her life was heading, and even when she began to recover enough to resume elements of her former life, her goals had changed. Many of her friends were getting married, having children, and seeing their careers take-off. Late twenties is a pivotal time for many people and Marks was forced to take a step back. I appreciated her calm perspective and the way she took this change in stride, even as she noted what she was missing out on. DISLIKE- Nothing. A Stitch of Time is fascinating and affecting.RECOMMEND- Absolutely. I know several people who have family members with brain injuries and I know that, A Stitch of Time, would be an informative read, but really, this is a fascinating topic for anyone. It would also be a good choice for anyone who is experiencing a major life-change or set-back and needs a dose of inspiration. Marks' story is inspirational. Like my review? Check out my blog!
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  • MsArdychan
    April 15, 2017
    Please Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.When I was twenty-seven, my dad had a massive stroke, brought on by uncontrolled diabetes. Suddenly, he was a different person. He went from an outgoing, larger than life personality, to a quiet man who couldn't carry on a conversation. I have often wondered what he was thinking about during that time. Was he trapped in a body that couldn't Please Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.When I was twenty-seven, my dad had a massive stroke, brought on by uncontrolled diabetes. Suddenly, he was a different person. He went from an outgoing, larger than life personality, to a quiet man who couldn't carry on a conversation. I have often wondered what he was thinking about during that time. Was he trapped in a body that couldn't respond, or was he truly a different person?A Stitch Of Time, by Lauren Marks, is a fascinating first person account of a woman who survives a traumatic brain injury. As she is singing karaoke in a bar, she suffers from a massive brain aneurysm and her life is changed forever. This book covers a year in her recovery, and whether language creates thought or thought begets language.What I Liked:First-Hand Account:I really appreciated the author's insight into what she was thinking during those first months of recovery. She recalls that there was very little panic or despair, at first. Just "The Quiet". I also was absorbed by how Lauren was treated by her friends, family, and lover. Many of these people assumed that once she regained the use of language, she would be the same person. But much of what made Lauren's personality was altered. She had to assess what kind of person she had been and see how that meshed with who she was after this life-altering event.Medical Jargon Explained:The author went to great lengths to make sure the reader understood how the brain functions and what an aneurysm actually is. She also delved into how language is accessed by people diagnosed with aphasia, and how speech therapists worked with her to regain her use of language. This was confusing, at the beginning of the book. However, I think we are meant to be as bombarded with terms and ideas as Lauren was. It is only as she progresses that things make sense for both the narrator and the reader.What I Was Mixed About: Relationship With Her Lover:I suppose that the author felt that chronicling her relationship with her on-again, off-again lover would be a good lynch-pin for the book. But I found much of it tedious, and indulgent. I didn't really want to know every detail of this courtship, and wonder how this other person must feel about the publication of this book.What Didn't Like: The author was an actress and teacher prior to having her aneurysm. She seems to credit her extensive literary background with part of her recovery. While she does show both arguments for and against the idea of language creating thought or thought creating language, I found some of her ideas to be elitist. Do people really need a master's degree to be great communicators and thinkers? She implies that her thoughts are certainly deeper due to her extensive education. Really? As someone who works with students, some of whom have difficulty accessing language, I was very put off by this.
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  • Biblio Files
    January 26, 2017
    Imagine that you're twenty seven, off to a promising career in writing and in acting, and you've just started pursuing a graduate degree. Everything is moving right along and your future is rosy. Then, a brain aneurysm causes a stroke. While this could very well have been fatal, luck is on your side and you are rushed to a world class hospital where you receive care that not only saves your life, but leaves you with a real possibility of recovering much of your health and faculties. This happene Imagine that you're twenty seven, off to a promising career in writing and in acting, and you've just started pursuing a graduate degree. Everything is moving right along and your future is rosy. Then, a brain aneurysm causes a stroke. While this could very well have been fatal, luck is on your side and you are rushed to a world class hospital where you receive care that not only saves your life, but leaves you with a real possibility of recovering much of your health and faculties. This happened to Lauren Marks in 2007 and she tells the gripping story of how she coped with the complete loss of language, followed by a lengthy process of learning how to speak, read, and write again. This was fascinating on the practical level as we learn what neurologists and therapists can and can't do. And it's pretty interesting on a more personal level, as Marks slowly realizes how much of her own personality is made up of memories and understanding non-verbal cues. In addition to learning language again, she finds she has to learn about her relatives and friends, even her boyfriend. It's poignant, and funny, when she learns how to kiss again.It's a revealing and optimistic account, and I do wish there had been a little more on the study of language learning and brain science in general, but it's still an enthusiastic recommend.
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  • Tracy
    November 19, 2016
    Fascinating work examining one person's experience in recovering her language skills after a brain aneurysm ruptures. Marks not only describes what happened to her, but she uses this event to better understand how the brain processes language. One thing she passes along is that the damage done by an aneurysm is very individual and will affect everyone differently, even when it takes place in the same part of the brain. Really interesting for those who love a good medical memoir.
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  • Rhonda Lomazow
    May 15, 2017
    Lauren Marks has written an open honest memoir.Lauren suffered an aneurysm at the young age of 27 while visiting Scotland.From that moment her life is completely changed.Family&friends gather round.Lauren A phd student realizes she no longer can read her speech is very difficult to understand.She shares her medical treatment her emotional feelings.Lauren has warm loving family&friends to help&ha strong spirit a difficult read at times but I was always cheering for Lauren,
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  • Susan Shepard
    January 19, 2017
    An excellent read! While I had heard of aphasia prior to reading this book, I didn't know much about it. Lauren Marks provides lots of information on aphasia in general while talking about her own personal journey with it. Because of that, this book isn't one you can just skim through. It took me a bit longer to read than I expected simply because there is a lot of information to digest. Overall, a very good book. 4 stars!
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  • Judy
    May 2, 2017
    From the Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2pGCf5s
  • Kathleen Gray
    May 1, 2017
    Amazing book! Marks has done a wonderful job of doing the difficult- explaining medical information and describing her own recuperation from a devastating illness. This is the sort of memoir that makes you cheer the author for her fortitude as well as her determination to recover and inform others. She is not the patient one generally thinks of with this condition and that makes this all the more intriguing. It's very well written, which is especially valuable during the more technical informati Amazing book! Marks has done a wonderful job of doing the difficult- explaining medical information and describing her own recuperation from a devastating illness. This is the sort of memoir that makes you cheer the author for her fortitude as well as her determination to recover and inform others. She is not the patient one generally thinks of with this condition and that makes this all the more intriguing. It's very well written, which is especially valuable during the more technical information. Thanks to the publisher, I read this as an ARC. Highly recommend for those interested in aphasia or just a good read.
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  • Polly Krize
    May 3, 2017
    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Author Lauren Marks suffered a ruptured aneurysm in her brain leading to a stroke. The loss of communication skills is sensitively described by this courageous woman. Making the long journey back to understanding language and relearning behaviors is intensely travelled, dealing with what various medical practitioners can and cannot do. A tribute to Ms. Marks and her return.
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  • Kristine
    April 22, 2017
    A Stitch of Time by Lauren Marks is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-April.After Marks is struck down by a hemorrhagic stroke in Edinburgh, Scotland, she undergoes two craniotomies to consolidate the aneurism and explores different kinds of therapies (including ASL, yay!) to work through symptoms of both Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia. It was really interesting to learn about what becomes involved when aphasia is present in both areas, like 'the Quiet' (a loss of internal monologue), di A Stitch of Time by Lauren Marks is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-April.After Marks is struck down by a hemorrhagic stroke in Edinburgh, Scotland, she undergoes two craniotomies to consolidate the aneurism and explores different kinds of therapies (including ASL, yay!) to work through symptoms of both Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia. It was really interesting to learn about what becomes involved when aphasia is present in both areas, like 'the Quiet' (a loss of internal monologue), difficulties with autobiographical memory, the struggle to search for a word you want to use (rather than just giving up at the loss of it), multitasking issues, and revisiting the site of her hemorrhagic stroke emotionally and physically.
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