Wake Me When It's Over

Mary Kay Blakely, Author, Elisabeth Scharlatt, Editor Crown Publishers $17.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-8129-1699-7
Crystalline, impassioned and astutely self-knowing, Blakely's memoir recalls the events surrounding her nine-day coma in March 1984 at the age of 36. Although she was suffering simultaneously from diabetes and a severe pulmonary infection, she convincingly argues that her coma was triggered by undue stress--guilt and grief over an impending divorce; the suicide of a beloved, schizophrenic brother; the travails of meeting editorial deadlines and financial needs as a freelance journalist; and her brutal commute between a lover and career based in New York City and two young sons in Ann Arbor, Mich. While comatose, the author says, ``sounds and voices I identified as real actions, real people, would suddenly melt into the bizarre plots and characters of surreal dreams.'' Although her recapping of popular movies and J. D. Salinger's fiction proves pedestrian, on the whole Blakely inspires, with a flood of rich musings on her embrace of feminism and disaffection with Catholicism; the transience of sanity; the ethics of the writerly craft; the indignities and loneliness of illness; and the ever-emphatic love of the Blakely clan. First serial to Redbook; author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/06/1989
Release date: 07/01/1989

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Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-35652-9
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