One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing by Diane Ackerman | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Reviews & Previews

One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing by Diane Ackerman

Review by Laura Sanders

By
2:50pm, May 6, 2011

In this personal account of a stroke’s devastation on the brain, a nature writer chronicles her husband’s battle to recover his lost words.

One day, a clot lodged in the brain of Paul West, a professor, poet and novelist. The stroke left West, a man with a biting wit and a deep intellect, able to mutter only one syllable over and over: “Mem, mem, mem.”

Ackerman carries readers along as her husband confronts his aphasia. She describes the science — part neuro­science, part cognitive science and part intuition — of figuring out what was damaged in West’s brain and how to fix it. In one memorable scene, renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks, a friend of the family, comes to visit and coaxes West — who can barely speak — to sing “Happy Birthday” and “Jerusalem.”

On his road to recovery, West becom

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

[title_1]
From the Nature Index Paid Content