The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (1997) by Jean-Dominique Bauby is a brilliant read.
This is a true story. It is editor-in-chief of Elle in France Jean-Dominique Bauby’s real life story of having locked-in syndrome. In 1995, he had a massive stroke and was paralysed and unable to talk. Using his left eyelid to spell out words and tell his story, he created this book with the help of a transcriber.
This is a stunning book. I planned to read a few pages of this book and ended up reading it all in one and a bit sittings. It is a truly remarkable accomplishment and shows how utterly dedicated he was to getting this book out there. The book talks about serious things and then the not so serious. It’s a group of anecdotes about living with locked-in syndrome and also a look at life in all it’s mundane ways. The love he has for his two children comes across so much. The way people were talking about him when he was ill is realistic and absolutely disgusting.
This book is so powerful and so emotive. The pages turn themselves. He has a way with words so it’s no surprise he was editor-in-chief of a magazine. So accessible and yet so poetic. This is so well-crafted. Heartbreaking but beautiful.
A wonderful part of his legacy to leave behind. A must-read.
To purchase The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby go to:
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