Turn The Page: The Diving Bell And The Butterfly By Jean Dominique Bauby
I must be on a books that inspired me kick at the moment — first Pay It Forward and then this, which I read around the same time. That was fiction and this is true. The other thing that both of these books have in common is that they made me cry.
You can’t really encapsulate the impact this book will have on you by describing what it’s about. Basically the book is about how Jean Dominique Bauby’s life was altered at 43 when his brain stem was rendered inactive. He suffered from something called locked-in syndrome where the only thing he could move was his eyes — and that is how he wrote this book. There is a system called ESA where letters are placed in ‘a hit parade’ according to their frequency in the French language — Bauby would blink his left eye until he got to the right letter and it would be written down. It was a painstaking effort. This book is full of hope and humanity and all those other things that might turn you away from a book if you are cynical, like I am most of the time. It doesn’t have a hollywood ending though (I can’t tell you about the film because I haven’t seen it) but this book is a life-changing one. I just gave it to someone after trying to describe it to them and them turning their nose up at it, but later they came back and thanked me for it. Jean Dominique-Bauby died of a heart attack on March 9, 1997, two days after his book was published in France. This book is, as they are selling it, a celebration of life — the book is a small and beautiful thing.
Now playing: The Auteurs – How I Learned to Love the Bootboys