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The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
“Shadows Bright As Glass is a fascinating glimpse into the mysteries of the mind, brain and creativity. Jon Sarkin wrestles with the great questions of the search for self, questions that concern us all.” (Alice Flaherty, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School)
“Fascinating…A mind-bending and inspiring book.” (Kirkus (starred review))
“Nutt exquisitely twins the inspirational and vexing story of Jon Sarkin, brain-damaged chiropractor turned renowned artist, with an account of humankind’s eternal pursuit of the soul…Nutt’s compelling narrative makes this is a real page-turner.” (Booklist (starred review))
About the Author
Amy Ellis Nutt has been a writer at The Newark Star-Ledger for thirteen years. She has won numerous national awards for newspaper writing and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for her series about Jon Sarkin. She holds two Masters degrees, one in philosophy from M.I.T., and one in journalism from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in New Jersey.
Shadows Bright as Glass is both a riveting story of Jon Sarkin's reinvention of himself after a stroke during brain surgery and an interesting overview of neuroscience studies and advances. The author also provides valuable insights into the impact of such an injury on the family and how they must come to terms with their loved one's new identity. The book demonstrates how amazing and often resilient organ the brain is. It also raises valuable questions about where identity comes from and at the same time points out how little we really know about the brain. I had a hard time putting the book down.
I saw an episode on "Ingenious Minds" about Jon Sarkin and was interested to learn more. It's a very interesting story. From people like Jon who are willing to be studied and make their stories public, doctors and researchers learn more and more about how the brain works and what happens after injury. What Jon and his family have been through is very difficult. The TV show emphasized more the aspect of "isn't it interesting how he makes art constantly now" as if his brain injury caused him to become an artist. The truth is that Jon uses art compulsively to deal with his emotions, also, he had an interest in art before the injury, it didn't just magically happen. He has become a novelty because of the injury. The video he made with Guster is wonderful. I'm sorry for all Jon and his family went through, and I'm happy for him that under the circumstances he is at least having success with his art.
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Amy Ellis Nutt was born in Staten Island, N.Y. and grew up in Scotch Plains, N.J., the middle child in a loving, middle-class family. She graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in Philosophy and English and has two Masters degrees, from M.I.T. (Philosophy) and Columbia University (Journalism). She was a reporter at Sports Illustrated for 9 years and has been a general assignment reporter at the Newark Star-Ledger since 1997. In 2009, Nutt was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing for a series of stories that formed the basis of her book, "Shadows Bright As Glass." She is also the winner of the American Society of Newspaper Editors award for Non-Deadline Writing and from the Society of Professional Journalists a Sigma Delta Chi award for Feature Writing. In 2004-2005 she was a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University. She lives in Watchung, N.J. and is the proud aunt of 12 nieces and nephews.