A Stitch of Time

The Year a Brain Injury Changed My Language and Life

A Stitch of Time

“Readers will be compelled by this illuminating debut memoir…a captivating” (Kirkus Reviews) account of one woman’s journey to regain her language and identity after a brain aneurysm steals her ability to communicate.

Lauren Marks was twenty-seven, touring a show in Scotland with her friends, when an aneurysm ruptured in her brain and left her fighting for her life. She woke up in a hospital with serious deficiencies to her reading, speaking, and writing abilities, and an unfamiliar diagnosis: aphasia. This would be shocking news for anyone, but Lauren was a voracious reader, an actress, director, and at the time of the event, pursuing her PhD. At any other period of her life, this diagnosis would have been a devastating blow. But she woke up…different. The way she perceived her environment and herself had profoundly changed, her entire identity seemed crafted around a language she could no longer access. She returned to her childhood home to recover, grappling with a muted inner monologue and fractured sense of self.

Soon after, Lauren began a journal, to chronicle her year following the rupture. A Stitch of Time is the remarkable result, an Oliver Sacks–like case study of a brain slowly piecing itself back together, featuring clinical research about aphasia and linguistics, interwoven with Lauren’s narrative and actual journal entries that marked her progress. Alternating between fascination and frustration, she relearns and re-experiences many of the things we take for granted—reading a book, understanding idioms, even sharing a “first kiss”—and begins to reconcile “The Girl I Used to Be” with “The Girl I Am Now.” For fans of Brain on Fire and My Stroke of Insight, the deeply personal and powerful A Stitch of Time is an “engrossing” (Publishers Weekly) journey of self-discovery, resilience, and hope.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451697605 | 
  • May 2018
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About the Author

Lauren Marks
(c) Brooks Girsch

Lauren Marks

Lauren Marks is a Los Angeles native and a New York University, Tisch School of the Arts graduate. She spent a decade in professional theater and pursued a PhD at The Graduate Center at City University of New York. Lauren was an Emerging Voices Fellow for PEN Center USA. She has been awarded grants from the Bread Loaf Writing Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, VCCA France, Ragdale, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Yaddo, and is an active advocate for those who live with language disorders like aphasia. A Stitch of Time is her first book.

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