Is this what it feels like, I thought, losing everything?
Steel shutters were clanging down in my head: I dared not even think about my son, just emerging from his teenage years, or of my sorry future.
But I could safely bear witness and carry on writing in my head. A correspondent from a hidden war.
On Good Friday, 2010 Melanie Reid fell from her horse, breaking her neck and fracturing her lower back. She was 52.
Paralysed from the top of her chest down, she was to spend almost a full year in hospital, determinedly working towards gaining as much movement in her limbs as possible, and learning to navigate her way through a world that had previously been invisible to her.
As a journalist Melanie had always turned to words and now, on a spinal ward peopled by an extraordinary array of individuals who were similarly at sea, she decided that writing would be her life-line. The World I Fell Out Of is an account of that year, and of those that followed. It is the untold 'back story' behind Melanie's award-winning 'Spinal Column' in The Times Magazine and a testament to 'the art of getting on with it'.
Unflinchingly honest and beautifully observed, this is a memoir about the joy - and the risks - of riding horses, the complicated nature of heroism, the bonds of family and the comfort of strangers. Above all, The World I Fell Out Of is a reminder that at any moment the life we know can be turned upside down - and a plea to start appreciating what we have while we have it.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 510 g
Dimensions: 222 x 141 x 36 mm
'Reading this will change you.' - Andrew Marr
'A generous, life-changing book ... some of the most insightful writing on what it means to be human that I have ever read.' - Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other
'It's beautiful - full of love and light - and an exploration into not only how, but why we survive, despite everything.' - Christie Watson, author of The Language of Kindness
'She is perceptive - and lacerating - about the pressures felt by disabled people to be cured, to put up and shut up, to remain upbeat. That isn't always easy, or possible. Cocktail parties are hell in a wheelchair: you're trapped at fart height and can't make subtle getaways to the ladies'...Above all, the book is a plea to those still living with well-functioning bodies to be aware of what they have. To love themselves and relish their ability to dance, run, go to the lavatory without help. With serious disability can come wisdom and perspective, and Reid passionately urges fellow women to set aside their self-loathing and "get out there and live".' - The Sunday Times
'The World I Fell Out Of is a vital, profound story shot through with insight and revelations. Melanie Reid has written the most important book of 2019.' - Susanna Forrest, author of If Wishes Were Horses
'Written with uncompromising candour, both tragic and darkly comic by turns ... It is a beautifully written memoir which also touches on the general (and unfair) perceptions of disabled people and gives an insightful look into the psychology of disability. She offers a wheelchair-user's view of the world - from once being the tallest in a room full of men to now being at "fart level". She is upfront about the expectations laid on the disabled by the able-bodied - to be fighting the illness, to say they are fine, to be coping. No self-pity, no tears of frustration. She admits to times of being nearly "washed away with despair" and yet, incredibly, sought to rebuild her strength enough to get back in the saddle, both literally and metaphorically.' - Wee Review
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“The world I fell out of”
I have admired the writing and resilience of Melanie Reid since reading her “Spinal Column” articles in The Times magazine so I had to buy her book. Until one reads her unflinching account of life as a tetraplegic... More
A brilliant insight into the life of a paralysed person. She lives her life so positively and yet acknowledges all the frustrations. As a full time carer for my mother, her experience taught me so much about my... More
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