You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know

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9781594487736: You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know

An unusual and uncommonly moving family memoir, with a twist that give new meaning to hindsight, insight, and forgiveness.

Heather Sellers is face-blind-that is, she has prosopagnosia, a rare neurological condition that prevents her from reliably recognizing people's faces. Growing up, unaware of the reason for her perpetual confusion and anxiety, she took what cues she could from speech, hairstyle, and gait. But she sometimes kissed a stranger, thinking he was her boyfriend, or failed to recognize even her own father and mother. She feared she must be crazy.

Yet it was her mother who nailed windows shut and covered them with blankets, made her daughter walk on her knees to spare the carpeting, had her practice secret words to use in the likely event of abduction. Her father went on weeklong "fishing trips" (aka benders), took in drifters, wore panty hose and bras under his regular clothes. Heather clung to a barely coherent story of a "normal" childhood in order to survive the one she had.

That fairy tale unraveled two decades later when Heather took the man she would marry home to meet her parents and began to discover the truth about her family and about herself. As she came at last to trust her own perceptions, she learned the gift of perspective: that embracing the past as it is allows us to let it go. And she illuminated a deeper truth-that even in the most flawed circumstances, love may be seen and felt.

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About the Author:

Heather Sellers is the author of the story collection Georgia Under Water and several books on writing. A poet, essayist, and frequent contributor to O: The Oprah Magazine, The Sun, and other publications, she teaches at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

From AudioFile:

In her memoir, professor and author Heather Sellers comes to terms with her inability to recognize faces, a lifelong neurological affliction. In this work she recounts how her condition affected her as a child growing up in an eccentric family and how it affects her as an adult. Narrator Karen White does an admirable job giving voice to Sellers' chaotic life. Such a story--of marriage and divorce, a schizophrenic mother and an alcoholic father, along with Heather's inability to recognize people's facial features--could easily be presented in an overdramatic manner. Instead of succumbing to this pitfall, White manages to imbue Sellers's words with appropriate emotion. Her skillful narration communicates the turmoil that Sellers has endured. Author and narrator will have listeners hanging on every word. J.L.K. AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine

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