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Author Berger, Suzanne E., 1944-

Title Horizontal woman : the story of a body in exile / Suzanne E. Berger
Published Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1996


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 MELB  810.54 B4963 A6/H  AVAILABLE
Description xviii, 216 pages ; 22 cm
Summary In the mundane act of bending down, Suzanne Berger suffered a back injury so severe that she was left suddenly and dramatically disabled. This fiercely passionate memoir by a prizewinning poet portrays the phantasmagoric perspective of a life lived horizontally. With that perspective comes a mesmerizing account of pain and rage, absurdity and hilarity, humiliation and gratitude. Her muscles for sitting or standing torn, housebound and dependent on others, Berger finds her universe askew. Her identity as a mother, wife, and friend undergoes dramatic change; her body becomes a betrayer. Often left behind by necessity, she is forced to excavate for beauty and amusement in a newly limited world. When she finally escapes for small adventures to restaurants, playgrounds, stores, where she must always lie down, she confronts the outrageous rudeness of strangers mystified by her invisible injury. Relief comes in blissful aquatherapy sessions with her physical therapists, the "angels of attempted repair," who guide her toward "the high epiphany of walking" and help her confront the ostracism that comes with being differently placed in the world. In language full of poetic vigor and biting humor, Horizontal Woman explores what it means to not "get well" in a society obsessed with health. Irreverent, unflinching, and inspiring, it reaches out to all who know that there is no easy return from physical or psychic exile
Subject Berger, Suzanne E., 1944- -- Health.
Back -- Wounds and injuries.
Backache -- Patients -- Rehabilitation -- Biography.
Poets, American -- 20th century -- Biography.
Genre/Form Autobiographies.
LC no. 96014213
ISBN 0395726689