Diane Ackerman has a relationship with her husband that most of us would envy. Though certainly not perfect, Diane describes her life with author and husband Paul West as cuddle-mad and word obsessed. Two brilliant writers in one space was not always perfect, (Paul had a temper and did too much drinking) but still all in all, life was good. Until lightning struck. In this case the lightning came in the form of a massive stroke leaving Paul only able to utter the sound “MEM” and changing their lives forever.
Though Diane is beloved for books like A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SENSES and THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE and has written over 20 books, her latest book, ONE HUNDRED NAMES FOR LOVE, is by far her most personal. It chronicles the journey she and Paul made from that fateful day six years ago when words failed back to a life where words abound.
When we sat down to talk last week, I asked Diane what it was like to write such a personal story and we talked about the ins and outs of aphasia, the advice they got, and the unique treatment Diane created for Paul that got him to a place the doctors never thought he’d be
More than a medical memoir, ONE HUNDRED NAMES FOR LOVE is a love story and a testament to hope and determination. It is an also an important message about not giving up and about the power of the brain to heal itself.
I hope you enjoy the interview and remember to check out the rest of the series, now on iTunes!
— Dana Barrett, Managing Editor