NOT BY ACCIDENT: Reconstructing a Careless Life

Samantha Dunn, Author . Holt $23 (256p) ISBN 0-8050-6585-7

Freelance writer and novelist Dunn (Failing Paris) spent the better part of her first 32 years as an "accident prone" person, though it took nearly losing a leg after being trampled by her beloved horse to realize it. Here she chronicles the details of the accident itself and her difficult recovery, weaving in the history of her family and her horse obsession along the way. As she reflects on her past actions, she realizes there's a pattern of recklessness behind her series of accidental mishaps and calamities. Dunn handles the soul-searching with finesse, neither overly self-absorbed nor unrealistic about the possibility of changing her personality through sheer force of will. She writes about her troubled marriage, which eventually dissolved under the pressures of her recovery, and about the friends, old and new, who emerged as real confidants during the long process of physical healing. One of these friends once told her, "God touches us with a feather to get our attention. Then if we don't listen, he starts throwing bricks." Dunn finally learns to notice the feathers, and in probing the nature of carelessness with intelligence and wit, offers a new twist on the familiar accident recovery memoir. Agent, Peter Matson. (Mar. 5)

Reviewed on: 02/04/2002
Release date: 03/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
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