Fiction Jim Knipfel Slackjaw

ISBN 13: 9780874779493

Slackjaw

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9780874779493: Slackjaw

A staff writer and columnist with the New York Press describes his battle with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare and untreatable genetic disease that results in blindness, and an inoperable brain lesion, in a memoir that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit and determination. 15,000 first printing.

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Review:

Who would have thought a memoir about going blind and suffering from severe depression could be so funny? From the opening scene, when an uncle who has the same degenerative eye disease warns 12-year-old Jim, "You better start learning Braille now," Knipfel defies all the conventional responses to adversity. You can't help but laugh when a doctor "who had obviously been playing hooky when they were teaching sensitivity in medical school" tells a wailing woman who has just learned her son is dying, "Please sit down... [he] has a good two or three weeks yet." The hard-edged humor comes naturally to a guy who as a grad student formed a band called the Pain Amplifiers; we're not exactly surprised to learn that his column for an alternative newspaper prompted hate mail as well as fan letters. Knipfel's complete lack of self-pity conveys the particulars of failing vision with blunt immediacy (he wears a wide-brimmed hat so he'll feel impending lampposts before he knocks himself senseless against them). His zest for the world's absurdities makes this book an exhilarating guide to "the weirdness parade I have been marching in my whole life." --Wendy Smith

About the Author:

Jim Knipfel is a staff writer and columnist for New York Press.

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Knipfel, Jim
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