Part family memoir, part medical mystery involving severe epilepsy, She Danced with Lightning follows one girl’s battle to persevere as a competitive dancer, culminating in a terrifying decline, a courageous performance, and an eleventh hour, life-saving brain surgery.
Eleven-year-old Anna has lived all her life with severe epilepsy. Despite the ravage of thousands of violent seizures and heavy medications, she has thrived at school, athletics, and her greatest passion—dance. As she approaches her twelfth birthday, Anna’s condition takes a dire turn. Her health declines quickly and a new diagnosis is revealed, leaving the family only one excruciating choice. A parent’s memoir about the medical mysteries of epilepsy and the personal suffering of raising a child with a deadly health condition, She Danced with Lightning is told from the perspective of Anna’s dream-chasing father, who comes to learn from her a strength and courage he never imagined possible.
Marc Palmieri is a playwright, actor, screenwriter, baseball coach, and college professor. His plays include Waiting For the Host, The Groundling, Carl the Second, and the New York Times’s “Critic’s Pick” Levittown (all published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.). His screenplays include Miramax’s Telling You (1999). He has published short fiction in Fiction, and short memoir in Global City Review and (Re) An Ideas Journal. Marc has appeared in many national television commercials, soap operas, and stage productions. He played baseball for Wake Forest University and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, and continues to coach at the high school level. Marc is an assistant professor at Mercy College’s School of Liberal Arts in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He has also taught for a decade at The City College of New York’s MFA program in creative writing. Marc lives in New York City.