By Christina Crosby
Within the early night on October 1, 2003, Christina Crosby used to be 3 miles right into a seventeen mile bicycle experience, purpose on achieving her target of 1,000 miles for the driving season. She was once a revered senior professor of English who had celebrated her 50th birthday a month sooner than. As she crested a hill, she stuck a department within the spokes of her bicycle, which immediately pitched her to the pavement. Her chin took the complete strength of the blow, and her head snapped again. In that immediate, she used to be paralyzed.
In A physique, Undone, Crosby places into phrases a damaged physique that turns out past the succeed in of language and knowing. She writes a few physique shot via with neurological ache, disoriented in time and house, incapacitated by way of paralysis and deadened sensation. to handle this overseas physique, she calls upon the readerly pleasures of narrative, serious feminist and queer pondering, and the targeted language of lyric poetry. operating with those assets, she recollects her Nineteen Fifties tomboy methods in small-town, rural Pennsylvania, and files starting to be into the Nineteen Seventies via radical feminism and the affirmations of homosexual liberation.
Deeply unsentimental, Crosby communicates in unflinching prose the adventure of "diving into the spoil" of her physique to recognize grief, and loss, but additionally to acknowledge the sweetness, fragility, and dependencies of all human our bodies. A memoir that could be a meditation on incapacity, metaphor, gender, intercourse, and love, A physique, Undone is a compelling account of residing on, as Crosby rebuilds her physique and models a existence via writing, reminiscence, and hope.
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Extra info for A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain
Spinal cord injury has undone my body, bewildering me and thwarting my understanding. Yet I am certain about one thing— whatever chance I have at a good life, in all senses of that phrase, depends on my openness to the undoing wrought by spinal cord injury, because there is no return to an earlier life. I know that the life I live now depends on my day-by-day relations with others, as it did before, but to an incalculably greater extent. Now I need you Bewilderment | 21 to know from the inside, as it were, how it feels to be so radically changed.
The current races close to the surface, yet somehow also deeply penetrates the tissue. My fingers fumble. My toes curl upward. If you went to the doctor’s office complaining of pain, you would be asked first to rank it, on a scale of 1 to 10. There is a chart, exactly the same everywhere, showing faces as emoticons—a smiling face, with an upward curving line for the mouth, dots for eyes, with happy eyebrows drawn above—that’s 1, feeling no pain. Ten, by contrast, has a sharply downturned mouth, pinched eyebrows, and dot eyes leaking tears.
I have a scar under my chin where, incomprehensibly, the surgeons pulled the skin up—like turning a glove inside out—so as to repair as best they could the shattered bones thus revealed. Grasping the enormity of the injuries that I had suffered was too hard. I could not tell with any exactitude where I was in space. In the first months when I was in the hospital, two aides had to work to position me before lights out, using pillows behind and between my legs to keep me lined up just right. The instructions for this positioning were drawn by my physical therapist and posted on a bulletin board above my bed, and I had been present when Dr.