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published: Sep 2010
ISBN:9781552788905
publisher: McArthur & Company

The Four Walls of My Freedom

by Donna Thomson, foreword by John Ralston Saul

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personal memoirs, women
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $29.95
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback Paperback eBook
published: Sep 2010
ISBN:9781552788905
publisher: McArthur & Company
Description

This is a riveting and redemptive family memoir. Donna Thomson’s vivid descriptions of her own experience in treading delicately through daily care, medical emergencies and the medical bureaucracy as she and her family cope with her son Nicholas’ cerebral palsy is both inspirational and instructive. From the first tentative diagnosis to Nicholas’ celebration of his 21st birthday last summer, Thomson examines how she and her family have tried, with various degrees of success, to cope with Nicholas’ needs, while at the same time ensuring that their lives (as well as Nicholas’) have value and dignity. Donna Thomson’s own experience with adversity takes on new meaning when viewed through the lens of Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen and other philosophers’ roadmaps of how to realize a good life against all odds. This lens includes not only people with disability, but also the enormous generation of post-WWII Baby Boomers who are beginning to sense the health care crisis that is looming as they deal with their own aging and increasingly infirm parents. Donna Thomson’s brilliantly written family memoir provides a strong, original message that touches on the lives of anyone caring for the needs of another.

About the Authors
Donna Thomson began her career as an actor, director, and teacher. But in 1988, when her son Nicholas was born with severe disabilities, Donna embarked on her second career as a disability activist, author, and consultant. She is married to James Wright, the former High Commissioner for Canada in the UK. Their previous postings have been in London, Washington, DC, and Moscow. Jim and Donna have two children and live in Ottawa, Canada.
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John Ralston Saul was elected President of International PEN in October 2009. He is author of a number of national bestsellers, including Voltaire's Bastards, The Doubter's Companion and The Unconscious Civilization, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction and the Gordon Montador Award for Best Canadian Book on Social Issues. He lives in Toronto.
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Editorial Reviews

“A clear-eyed look at the value of a life…What if a life was judged not by its monetary worth or possible economic benefit to society, but as a series of complex and rewarding relationships?”

— Globe and Mail

“Donna Thomson’s world changed utterly when she gave birth to a severely disabled son – with a wicked sense of humour…she makes a powerful case for caring to be accorded respect, and demands that we all think about what really matters.”

— The Times (UK)

“What does it mean to live ‘a good life,’ and how can we help the most vulnerable people around us to live life to the full? Donna Thomson provides some answers from personal experience in this engaging, challenging, life-enhancing book.”

— Ian Rankin

“[A] tremendous piece of work. Elegant, honest and inspirational. [The author has] braided personal experience, practical responses and theory. Brilliant. Bravo!”

— Vickie Cammack, co-founder of PLAN

“I am deeply moved by this book. It is about being human, finding wisdom and learning to live in the face of pain. It is about seeing under the suffering and needs of people with disabilities their value and beauty, their uniqueness and dignity. This book should be read by all who seek to understand what it means to be human.”

— Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche

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