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Walking Papers: The Accident that Changed My Life, and the Business that Got Me Back on My Feet Hardcover – June 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140132343X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401323431
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,241,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"I read Francesco Clark's Walking Papers when I should have been working, and was immediately swept into his story of crisis and hope. His doctors, his nurses, friends and family all try to protect him from false hope. But Francesco's will is irrepressible and potent. His story is the triumph of optimism in the face of daunting, heartbreaking hopelessness."—Linda Wells, Editor in Chief, Allure Magazine

"Walking Papers so beautifully illuminates the tenacity of the human spirit and the desire to choose hope in the face of overwhelming odds. Francesco's fresh, engrossing book proves that a disability or diagnosis is not a death sentence, but a life sentence. His journey so aptly illustrates that there is life after devastation and trauma. I found myself cheering him from every page."—Lee Woodruff, coauthor of In an Instant

"Francesco Clark's personal journey is an inspiration to everyone. His triumph and achievements over adversity reflect the determination and faith of the human spirit."—John Demsey, President, Estee Lauder

About the Author

Francesco and his skin care company, Clark's Botanicals, have been featured twice in the New York Times, as well as in Harper's Bazaar, W, the New York Times Magazine, Self, Fitness, WWD, People, InStyle, Town and Country, New York Magazine, LA Confidential, and Hamptons Magazine. He has extensive connections in the media and fashion world. His company has won the Rising Star Award from Fashion Group International; Best of Beauty Award from Allure; Fitness Magazine Beauty Award; and Self Magazine Healthy Beauty Award.

More About the Author

FRANCESCO CLARK is the founder of Clark's Botanicals, which has been featured in the New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, and many other publications. His company has won the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award, Allure's Best of Beauty Award (two years in a row), Fitness's Beauty Award, Self's Healthy Beauty Award, Cosmetic Executive Women's Indie Brand of the Year 2008, as well as Wallpaper's design award. He was featured in the PBS special, This Emotional Life. An ambassador for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, he lives in Bronxville, New York.

Customer Reviews

This book is a great read for inspiration.
Chang H.
A very inspiring story of determination and dealing with a tremendous personal loss.
Sharon L. Jones
I started reading this book and couldn't put it down until it was finished.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Suzan Colon on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most inspiring books I've ever read, written by one of the most inspiring people I know. In Walking Papers, my friend Francesco Clark tells the story of how he endured an accident that left him paralyzed. While he had to accept the reality that something as simple as picking up a glass of water was now quite literally out of his reach, he refused to accept the limitations of his situation. "What am I supposed to do," he asked me one day, "Just sit here?"

He didn't. After going through years of sometimes arduous physical therapy, Francesco started his own business, Clark's Botanicals, a skin care line/empire that he runs out of his room. We talked one day about him writing a book; boom, here's the book. Francesco was told he would never move again, but all he's done since the accident is move forward.

It's not only to the benefit of other people living with spinal cord injuries (Fran is also the spokesperson for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation) that he's both incredibly optimistic and really stubborn. As he writes, "You don' t need to experience near death to live life to its unlimited potential." This book serves as a brave and beautiful reminder of that.
Suzan Colón
Author of Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times (Vintage)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Laura M. on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I read it cover-to-cover the day I got it. I just couldn't put it down. It's a very inspiring true story of someone who turned a tragic incident into something amazing. It really made me think about my own life and ensuring that I'm making the most of every day.

It was an easy read, as the story flowed quite well and was engaging. I was sorry when it ended, as I'd love to know how Francesco Clark will move forward from this point. I hope that he writes a sequel book or at least updates us.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jana Eggers on July 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Francesco Clark does fantastic job detailing his journey from young professional to quadriplegic to entrepreneur. He covers the ups and downs, the fear and joy of his years fighting back for a life. I could not put the book down, because I wanted to know the next stage. His writing style brings you along on the journey with him.

My favorite part of this book is the constant goal setting Francesco does. At each stage and with goals that even to him at times felt small, he continued. He did not stop, and while he had support, no one was dragging him along. He was setting his coursed and often dragging others with him to support his journey.

The one negative review of this book has a point in that Francesco had wonderful support, which many people facing this don't. This does not take away from what Francesco achieved, and Francesco gives his parents, siblings and friends all the credit in the world. That reviewer misses the point of the book. With or without financial resources, the determination to believe that things can improve is what put Francesco where he was. I am sure that most of the people Francesco met on his journey had less resources than him, and were fighting as he was to get to a better place. Hooray for Francesco's success, which will inspire many more to follow. Do not accept what is given to you. Work to change it, even when it seems hopeless.

Bravo, Francesco!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. M. Nolan on June 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Francesco Clark is a treasure. What else explains his gift in producing a delightful account of a personal tragedy? His story is clearly one of suffering and struggle, but reading it was a pleasure. Young Mr. Clark's skill in describing several event-filled years with feeling as well as an economy of language reveals an extraordinary talent.
What courage it took to reveal his ongoing fears, yet what happy determination he possesses. Francesco Clark must have a deep inner core of strength and peace to have written this wonderful book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Buzzini on July 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Stories that inspire us to transcend our situation have always been important to me. People who believe in themselves in the darkest hours are usually the ones who end up shininng in every day life. I've tried to live my life by overcoming obstacles and turning them into opportunities rather than dwelling on the negative.

"Walking Papers" inspires me and helps me through even average things in life. I'm currently 12 weeks pregnant and have been through morning sickness that has overturned my life. I've been so constantly sick that I've injured my back and ribs. But when I read about what Francesco has endured and overcome, it seems so small in comparison. It makes me want to do more and be more and give more to others and enjoy every tiny thing that life has to offer.

Also, like Francesco, it's been very hard to ask others for help. Some people might find this to be inconsequential, but if you are an independent person who hates having to ask for help, it is really a struggle to let others help you. After reading this book, I realized that it is okay to let others provide assistance. It's okay to need others and lean on them.

Yes, he had some advantages in having a physician father and having worked at a magazine, but everyone has talents that can be put to use. I think to say that no one else could do what he has done is a cop out. I believe in using every resource you have to combat whatever you face.
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