The Man Who Lost His Language
Hale (Sheila)
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Back Cover Blurb

  1. 'Sheila Hale's piercing book enlarges the language of love. It tells a tale of passion, heroism and rage aroused by her struggle to enable a sensitive erudite man to live without words'
    → Brenda Maddox
  2. The Man Who Lost His Language is both a love story and the story of a quest for medical and scientific knowledge about a common but little-understood illness that could attack any of us, as it attacked the author's husband, John Hale, one of the world's leading historians. A month after he finished writing the book that turned out to be his masterpiece, Hale suffered a stroke which deprived him of the power to speak or to write.
  3. Hale's stroke was so massive that he was at first written off by doctors as a hopeless case. But his wife, Sheila, was determined to find out what had happened to her husband and how he might be brought back to as normal a life as possible.
  4. This beautifully, often dramatically, written book conveys with raw honesty the extremes of emotion and behaviour — rage and contentment, desperation and dignity — that affect people disabled by stroke and those who love and care for them. It gives an accessible account of what is known about stroke and what impaired speech tells us about the relationship between language and intelligence — and how much we all communicate without words. Sheila Hale convincingly and grippingly brings together the personal and the universal. The result is a small, unclassifiable masterpiece.

Amazon Customer Review1
  1. I bought this book because my brother had a stroke last summer and now suffers from aphasia plus many other difficulties resulting from the stroke. However aphasia is the most disabling of them all – he cannot speak, read or write.
  2. This book was written out of love for her husband but also anger. She is very angry that such a thing could have happened to her husband. I admire her because she tried so hard to find the solution to curing her husband's aphasia, but never did and it probably won't be curable in her lifetime.
  3. I confess I never completed the book because I found it hard going on more than one level, but I do intend to, when I have the time and strength.

In-Page Footnotes ("Hale (Sheila) - The Man Who Lost His Language")

Footnote 1:

Alan Lane / Penguin, 2002

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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