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published: Oct 2010
ISBN:9781552788868
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: $14.99
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover Paperback
published: Oct 2010
ISBN:9781552788868
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 the celebration of Nicholas’ 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, and Nicholas’ life, 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.

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

John Ralston Saul is one of Canada’s leading social and political commentators. He is the author of numerous books on philosophy and contemporary politics, including Voltaire’s Bastards, Reflections of a Siamese Twin, and most recently The Collapse of Globalism. Saul was the Massey lecturer in 1995, and won the 1996 Governor General’s Award for nonfiction for The Unconscious Civilization, based on those lectures. He is the former president of PEN Canada and the creator of the acclaimed LaFontaine Baldwin Lecture series. A regular speaker and panelist across Canada and internationally, John Ralston Saul currently lives in Toronto.

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Editorial Reviews

“[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

“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

“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

“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)

“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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