Look Up for Yes

Julia Tavalaro, Author, Richard Tayson, With Kodansha America $19 (240p) ISBN 978-1-56836-171-0
In 1967, Tavalaro, a 33-year-old housewife and mother, awoke from a coma in Goldwater Memorial Hospital in New York City at least a year after two strokes, unable to speak and almost totally paralyzed. It was not until 1973 that a speech therapist became aware that Tavalaro could see, hear and understand what was going on around her. In this gripping and harrowing memoir, Tavalaro, who communicates and writes poetry by using a scanning machine, details the story of her six years of silent imprisonment. Tayson, her creative writing teacher at the hospital, transcribed and edited her drafts. The gradual emergence of her ability to communicate was facilitated by two caring members of the hospital staff. Other staff, however, believing that their patient was insensible, treated her cruelly, often causing pain. Tavalaro's life was further darkened by limited contact with her family. The story of her courage testifies to the endurance of the human spirit. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997
Release date: 04/01/1997
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