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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs


A Trauma, a Marriage, and the Transformative Power of Music

by (author) Kara Stanley

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
May 2015
Personal Memoirs, Neuroscience
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2015
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2015
    List Price

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In the vein of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Kara Stanley tells the compelling story of her husband’s life-changing brain and spinal cord injury and the role of music, science, and love in recovery.Part recovery narrative and part love story, interwoven with the latest research on the brain, Fallen describes the aftermath of a life-threatening brain and spinal cord injury.

In 2008, Simon Paradis stepped backward on the scaffolding where he was doing construction work and fell two stories to the hard stone tile below. Landing on his back, head, and spine, he suffered a severe brain and spinal cord injury. Doctors warned his wife, Kara Stanley, that he probably would not survive, and that if he did, his mind and his body would never be the same. In Fallen, Kara Stanley chronicles the effect of this catastrophic accident on both Simon and her and on their marriage.

Combining the heart-wrenching narrative of Simon’s recovery with the latest research on the brain, the book elucidates the resilience of both the human heart and the human mind. It also describes the transformative role of music in Simon’s life both before and during his continuing rehabilitation and his hard-fought battle to return

About the author

Kara Stanley holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and her writing has appeared in Fugue, HipMama, and Paste. She lives on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia.

Kara Stanley's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The man whose portrait Stanley paints is endearing, and her love for him is resilient and unquestionable ...a compelling story of strength and love."—Publishers Weekly

“A profound mining of the depths of loss and pain and an unflinching distillation of the daily textures of acceptance, accommodation, gratitude, and yes, celebration—all exquisitely told by an astonishing partner and writer.”—Bonnie Klein, director of Shameless: The Art of Disability

“The book's wisdom and compassion earn it a spot right next to Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking.”-Angie Abdou, author of Between

“Fallen offers critical insight into resilience, brain plasticity, and the redemptive power of music and insists on a truth we prefer not to acknowledge—that life can change in the space of a single breath.”—Rachel Rose, author of Song & Spectacle

“To understand and care for her husband, Kara Stanley was forced to become an expert in neuroanatomy and physiology, knowledge which she shares with us in a generous and engaging way.”—Michael C. Klein, Emeritus Professor of Family Practice and Pediatrics, University of British Columbia

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