One of the most remarkable memoirs ever written.
The diary of Jean-Dominique Bauby who, with his left eyelid (the only surviving muscle after a massive stroke) dictated a remarkable book about his experiences locked inside his body. A masterpiece and a bestseller in France.
In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French Elle and the father of two young children, suffered a massive stroke and found himself paralysed and speechless. But his mind remained as active and alert as it had ever been.
Using his only functioning muscle – his left eyelid – he was determined to tell his remarkable story, painstakingly spelling it out letter by letter.
The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly records Bauby’s lonely existence but also the ability to invent a life for oneself in the most appalling of circumstances. It one of the most extraordinary books about the triumph of the human spirit ever written.
‘The most remarkable memoir of our time.’ Cynthia Ozick
‘Read this book and fall back in love with life.’ Edmund White
‘A staggering piece of work. It represents an almost inconceivable act of generosity, the gift of the mind and the spirit for which writing was designed.’ A. L. Kennedy
‘One of the great books of the century.’ Financial Times
‘Everyone in the country should own at least one copy.’ Guardian
‘We listen, because what he has to say goes to the core of what it means to be human.’ Robert McCrum, Observer
‘The most extraordinary book of the year.’ Daily Telegraph
Bauby Jean-Dominique Bauby was born in Paris in 1952. In 1996 he set up ALIS (Association du Locked-In Syndrome). Bauby died on 9 March 1997. He leaves a wife and two children.