A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain by Christina Crosby

By Christina Crosby

Within the early night on October 1, 2003, Christina Crosby was once 3 miles right into a seventeen mile bicycle trip, motive on achieving her aim of 1,000 miles for the using season. She used to be a revered senior professor of English who had celebrated her 50th birthday a month earlier than. As she crested a hill, she stuck a department within the spokes of her bicycle, which immediately pitched her to the pavement. Her chin took the complete strength of the blow, and her head snapped again. In that immediate, she used to be paralyzed.

In A physique, Undone, Crosby places into phrases a damaged physique that turns out past the succeed in of language and realizing. She writes a few physique shot via with neurological ache, disoriented in time and house, incapacitated by way of paralysis and deadened sensation. to deal with this overseas physique, she calls upon the readerly pleasures of narrative, severe feminist and queer pondering, and the centred language of lyric poetry. operating with those assets, she recollects her Nineteen Fifties tomboy methods in small-town, rural Pennsylvania, and files transforming into into the Nineteen Seventies via radical feminism and the affirmations of homosexual liberation.

Deeply unsentimental, Crosby communicates in unflinching prose the event of "diving into the smash" of her physique to recognize grief, and loss, but in addition to acknowledge the sweetness, fragility, and dependencies of all human our bodies. A memoir that may be a meditation on incapacity, metaphor, gender, intercourse, and love, A physique, Undone is a compelling account of dwelling on, as Crosby rebuilds her physique and models a lifestyles via writing, reminiscence, and wish.

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Extra info for A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain

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My bowels, already a great trouble to me since they’re slowed by paralysis, had an even harder time moving—but that didn’t matter. When electricity stormed through my body, I just wanted relief. The hardest part was waiting in pain after I pushed the button on my call bell. A CNA would eventually show up to ask what I needed, and then she had to find a nurse with access to the locked-down drugs. The nurse inevitably would be working with someone else, and there was nothing to do but wait. When I suffered at the time of a shift change, I knew that I’d have to be patient.

I got as high as I could, until the tree bowed under my weight and swayed in the wind. Leaning far into the air under a blazingly blue sky, I heard the breeze soughing through the stand of pines, and breathed in the hot summer smell of pine tar. When I was a teenager, my friends and I would drive out of town a couple miles, park by the side of the road and walk through the woods to Stone Creek, where we knew about a small swimming hole. Jeans and work shirts piled up next to sneakers and boots.

The only time that I really let loose as I used to do is when I’m alone and have dropped something for the fifth time, or have spilled something, or am troubled with a spasm, or the dog has made a mess—then my language is as foul as it ever was. Moxie Doxie, our alert little dog, doesn’t know I’m taking the Lord’s name in vain. When Janet and I were trying to prepare ourselves for my return to our home, we were simply overwhelmed. I’d been hospitalized and 35 36 | Caring at the Cash Nexus under the care of aides, nurses, therapists, and physicians for more than five months, and the thought of managing my care alone was terrifying.

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