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I Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia Hardcover – February 4, 2014
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*Starred Review* It was a freaky accident. When a ceiling fan fell and struck her, Su Meck received a gash in her forehead. She writes, “This was the day that my old life ended and my new life began.” The old Su was rebellious, the new Su was compliant after suffering not only a traumatic brain injury (TBI) but also complete retrograde amnesia as well as anterograde amnesia. Essentially, the accident wiped out her memories and prevented her from making new ones. Yet somehow she has stitched together an identity. Her first life began when she was born in 1965 and lasted until the spring of 1988, when the accident occurred. Everything after that consists of her second life, in which she depends on others to fill in the gaps with “anecdotes about who I was, what I did, and how I lived.” In this remarkable memoir, Meck chronicles her experiences as she learned to live in “a house full of strangers.” She discusses her marital troubles with great frankness as well as her frustration with herself, her family, and members of the medical community who did not take her injury seriously. Compelling and inspirational and, one hopes, an important impetus for ongoing brain research. --June Sawyers
“Meck’s matter-of-fact delivery makes the harrowing details of her ordeal stand out all the more. . . . [A] tale of triumph in the search for identity.” (The New York Times Book Review)
"The author recounts her grueling climb back to normalcy after an accident robs her of her memory and sense of self in this heartwrenching true story." (O, the Oprah Magazine)
“A big achievement . . . poignant.” (The Washington Post)
“[Meck] pieces together a fascinating tale of life after suffering head trauma as a young mother.” (New York Review of Books)
“A remarkable story that readers won’t soon forget.” (San Francisco Book Review)
“A remarkable memoir . . . unnervingly honest, straightforward to a degree that makes every other memoir I’ve read seem evasive, self-conscious, and preening. . . . Unlike that of everyone else around her, [Su Meck’s] adult life wasn’t the result of imagining a happy future, pursuing it with a sense of purpose and then figuring out whether or not her dreams have been fulfilled, betrayed, or misbegotten. Her life was simply ‘the way things were’—until, that is, she realized she was in a position to have some say about that. And seeing her seize that opportunity makes for a happier ending than any fairy tale can offer.” (Salon.com)
“The true story of a woman who at the age of 22 was whacked by a ceiling fan and lost her memory . . . Quite the tale.” (New York Daily News)
“I Forgot to Remember, which was written with the elegant assistance of a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, is more than a memoir or report on the devastating effects of traumatic brain injury. It is a shocking story about betrayal and trust . . . astounding.” (Maclean's)
"Remarkable . . . an arresting story about what it's like to live with amnesia." (The Hampshire Gazette)
“Thoroughly fascinating…There are many conditions and diseases that remain hidden this way. This book is a great way to get a glimpse behind that curtain and gain a greater sense of understanding and compassion.” (Gering Citizen)
“Best to have a box of tissues on standby for this one.” (LAMag.com)
“Su Meck has made the unimaginable tangible, and we are fortunate to have gotten the chance to know her as she journeys through her own introduction to herself.” (Bustle.com)
“In this remarkable memoir, Meck chronicles her experiences as she learned to live in ‘a house full of strangers’ . . . . Compelling and inspirational and, one hopes, an important impetus for ongoing brain research.” (Booklist, starred review)
“Compelling . . . Meck relates with excruciating honesty her journey out of oblivion.” (Publishers Weekly (Books of the Week pick))
"A brave testament of willpower and perseverance against almost insurmountable odds." (ShelfAwareness.com)
“Su’s story has given us all pause to consider just how much we don’t know about the brain and its injuries.” (Bookreporter.com)
"Following a traumatic brain injury that erases every memory from her past, Su Meck takes us on her remarkable journey forward as she stitches her identity back together one thread at a time. A fascinating memoir about resilience, courage, and hope, I Forgot to Remember is not just a survivor's story. This is a hero's story." (Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author of Love Anthony)
"One ordinary day, Su Meck lost her memory. This is the highly unusual story of how she remembered herself—and reconciled the person she was with the world around her. Her story will surprise and engage anyone who has wondered about the role that memory plays in all of our lives." (Alexandra Horowitz, author of the New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog)
"I Forgot to Remember is a brave and raw story about the damage and trials a head injury can inflict on an entire family. Su Meck's spellbinding tale of life, injury and then the arduous task of re-learning everything, even down to how to love again, reminds us all of the importance of living in the moment and the need to cherish the memories we own." (Lee Woodruff, coauthor of the #1 bestseller In an Instant)
Top customer reviews
Her journey from having the mental and physical abilities of a toddler to the published author she is today is inspiring to read.
This certainly is a timely book considering how many soldiers we have coming home from the wars with Iran, Afganistan etc with this same trauma, TBI.
Cudos to Su who had to deal with this injury on a day to day still while raising three children and succeeding to accomplishing great things herself under impossible conditions!