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The Unmapped Mind: A Memoir of Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis and Learning How to Live
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Christian Donlan
The Unmapped Mind: A Memoir of Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis and Learning How to Live by Christian Donlan at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Unmapped Mind: A Memoir of Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis and Learning How to Live

Christian Donlan



Neurology & clinical neurophysiology;
Coping with illness


304 pages

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'My daughter took her first steps on the day I was diagnosed - a juxtaposition so perfect, so trite, so filled with the tacky artifice of real life that I am generally too embarrassed to tell anybody about it.' Shortly after his daughter Leontine was born, Christian Donlan's world shifted an inch to the left. He started to miss light switches and door handles when reaching for them. He would injure himself in a hundred stupid ways every day. First playful and then maddening, these strange experiences were the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis, an incurable and degenerative neurological illness.

Multiple sclerosis is a fiercely destructive disease, yet it is also, as Donlan starts to discover, a perversely creative force. As his young daughter starts to investigate her environment, he too finds himself exploring a strange new landscape - the shifting and bewildering territory of the brain.

By:   Christian Donlan
Imprint:   Viking
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   214g
ISBN:   9780241980934
ISBN 10:   0241980933
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   May 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Christian Donlan is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the New Statesman, Edge magazine and Vice, amongst other places. He is a features editor at He lives in Brighton with his family.

An amazing and wonderful piece of writing. I could not put it down -- Claire Tomalin A wonderful, moving, powerful and immersive book which will help anyone who has or knows someone with MS. Christian Donlan's takes us inside his mind and his beautiful relationship with his daughter, helping us to look at our own relationships from a fresh perspective. -- Julia Samuel An unprecedented first-hand account of the effects of brain disease, and what it is like to have your thoughts shift from under you. Donlan brings us a poetic, compelling and wonderful book. Simply enchanting. -- Daniel Levitin Christian Donlan tells a riveting adventure story as he explores the mysterious paths that connect the body and the brain-and the scary and joyous land of fatherhood. He writes with vivid candour and startling humour about topics that range from the history of neurology to the maddening grey zone between illness and diagnosis. At its heart, this is a book of awe - at how the body works and doesn't, how it grows and fails, and how even the most unwelcome events can sometimes help us break free from old ways of thinking to powerful new ones. -- Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club and Books for Living. Thoughtful and quietly moving * Daily Telegraph * This is not a tale of tragedy but one of re-engaging with the world - or realising what's truly important * Stylist * Beautiful and delicately written with the power to shift your world view * Emerald Street * Remarkable and revelatory, this is a dazzling achievement * The Sunday Times * This is an inspiring tale of a man trying to wrestle an incurable disease into a kind of submission, using intellect and love and logic... [A] marvellous book * Daily Mail * A poignant account of living with MS... with a total lack of self pity and much gentle humour, Donlan explores the nooks and crannies of his behaviour. * The Times * [An] excellent memoir... he describes the brain in vivid, poetic detail * Financial Times * A moving, gracefully written story * Publishers Weekly * In this poignant book, Donlan finds in curiosity, writing, and family the surest salves for the terror of chronic illness and mortality * Kirkus Reviews * Really beautifully done; reminds me of When Breath Becomes Air. I love it * ReadItForward * Perhaps never before has the full palette of the inner ebb and flow of MS been so frankly exposed... Will resonate with other people with MS, and also, so importantly, with their family and friends... an invaluable resource * Times Literary Supplement *

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