cover image Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir

Revertigo: An Off-Kilter Memoir

Floyd Skloot. Terrace Books, $26.95 (222p) ISBN 978-0299-29950-7

In 1988 a viral attack to Skloot's brain left him walking with a cane for 15 years and eventually led to vertigo caused by intercranial hypertension. This collection of essays, many of which have already been published, explore ideas of physical and mental balance while moving through Skloot's childhood in Long Island, his new life in Portland, Ore., and his recent travels to Europe. While physical balance plays a role in some tales, it is the search for intellectual and emotional equilibrium that drives this work. His efforts to find the connection between such divergent topics as The King and I and his parents' relationship, or old standards and an MRI exam, create literary adventures that combining analysis and humor which seem destined to spin out of control but never do. With wide-ranging topics such as theater, medicine, travel, and cooking Skloot's prose jumps from the page Whether he is describing nature ("But like an echo of sunlight, otherworldly bright yellow lichen flourished) or a dream about Nabokov dancing ("%E2%80%A6 he moved in waltz time when the music I heard was definitely samba.", his comparisons are poetic. (Apr.)