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I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2018
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
On seventeen occasions, award-winning novelist Maggie O’Farrell has stared death in the face—and lived to tell the tale. In this astonishing #1 Sunday Times bestelling memoir by the author of Hamnet, she shares the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life: The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life’s myriad dangers. Here, O’Farrell stiches together these discrete encounters to tell the story of her entire life. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, she captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/06/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780525520238
ASIN:
B071NR513K
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Maggie O'Farrell. (2018). I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Maggie O'Farrell. 2018. I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Maggie O'Farrell, I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Maggie O'Farrell. I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2018. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 19:41:55
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, MAGGIE O'FARRELL grew up in Wales and Scotland and now lives in London. She has worked as a waitress, chambermaid, bike messenger, teacher, and arts administrator, as a journalist in Hong Kong and London, and as the deputy literary editor of The Independent on Sunday. Her debut novel, After You'd Gone (2000), won a Betty Trask Award and was followed by My Lover's Lover (2002); The Distance Between Us (2004), winner of a Somerset Maugham Award; The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (2006); The Hand That First Held Mine (2010); Costa Book Award winner Instructions for a Heatwave (2013); and, most recently, This Must Be the Place (2016). www.maggieofarrell.com
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title
I Am, I Am, I Am
fullDescription
On seventeen occasions, award-winning novelist Maggie O’Farrell has stared death in the face—and lived to tell the tale.
In this astonishing #1 Sunday Times bestelling memoir by the author of Hamnet, she shares the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life: The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life’s myriad dangers.
Here, O’Farrell stiches together these discrete encounters to tell the story of her entire life. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, she captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Transfixing. . . . A mystical howl, a thrumming, piercing reminder of how very closely we all exist alongside what could have happened, but didn't."
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: "Heartbreaking, life-affirming, beautiful. . . . Taken together, these vignettes make up a sharply intimate portrait of what it is to be a person in a body--and in particular, a female body."
      • premium: False
      • source: Entertainment Weekly
      • content: "A uniquely complete portrait of a life fully lived. . . . Its unconventional structure probes deep ­questions about the human condition, and it establishes a narrative that finds meaning and truth in life's chaos and randomness."
      • premium: False
      • source: People Magazine
      • content: "This intense, unsparing memoir is less about death than about chance, risk and the gift of another day."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Wall Street Journal
      • content: "A pleasure to read. And, indeed, difficult to stop reading. . . . There are echoes of Virginia Woolf not just in the rhythm of the prose but also in its dreamlike immediacy. The effect, ingeniously, is of a life told through the gaps, those near misses, on the eluding of which the rest of life hangs."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 13, 2017
        British author O’Farrell (This Must Be the Place) has woven together a stunning collection of vignettes about near-death experiences in her life. She begins with a chilling tale of encountering a lone stranger during a hike up a mountain, who she later learns, after talking with the police, is a killer. Each story strikes a different tone, from the somber to the comedic. In “Lungs” she tells of taking a perilous dive off a cliff into the sea and nearly drowning when she was a teen desperate for adventure in a small Scottish seaside town in the late 1980s. Regarding these encounters with death, she writes, “They will take up residence inside you and become part of who you are, like a heart stent or a pin that holds together a broken bone.” Her most dramatic examination of the precipice between life and death is when she writes about her children. In a story that is both heartbreaking and hopeful, she tells of her daughter’s diagnosis with an immunological disorder, which left O’Farrell contemplating life’s fragility. O’Farrell’s recollections of her brushes with death are fascinating and thought-provoking.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2017
        A woman's striking and unexpected foray into near-death experiences.What happens to us when we near death? When the decisions we have made bring us to the moment when it might be too late to look back and change our minds? These are two of the many questions O'Farrell (This Must Be the Place, 2016, etc.) explores as she embarks in a memoiristic exercise in writing down, archiving, anthologizing, and understanding all the instances in which she almost lost her life. Written in nonchronological order, the stories are organized by body parts. For example, in "Neck: 1990," the author remembers a dark and eerie evening walking back to the cottage where she worked and stumbling upon an all-too-familiar man. "I have an instinct for the onset of violence," she writes, "I seemed to incite it in others for reasons I never quite understood." The man made her strap a pair of binoculars around her neck to watch the ducks. Nothing happened to her that night, but a different woman was later found strangled by a pair of binoculars, allegedly by the same man. The tales that follow this opener involve much more intensely medical experiences, such as the nasty strain of amoebic dysentery O'Farrell caught in China ("the amoeba was winning...I was ready to die, to abandon the fight. It was easier than staying alive") or a life-changing neurological illness that modified, at a very young age, the rest of her life. The author also tells the stories of her multiple--at times unsuccessful--pregnancies. Throughout, the narrative is compelling and visceral; O'Farrell knows how to draw in readers. Perhaps the only downside to the book's organization is that because the stories aren't in chronological order, some of them feel repetitive, as the author occasionally provides redundant context about the events in her life.An intriguing and mostly engaging collection of life-threatening stories.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2018
        Irish-born, Edinburgh-based O'Farrell, the author of seven ensnaring novels, including This Must Be the Place (2016), recounts events that seem more imagined than real in this gripping, episodic memoir. In 17 essays that jump back and forth in time, each titled with the name of an endangered body part, O'Farrell recounts, with peerlessly matter-of-fact lucidity, 17 nearly fatal events. She begins with Neck (1990), in which, at 18, she is confronted by a dangerous man on a hiking path. In Lungs (1988), she leaps, in the dark, off a harbor wall into the sea and nearly drowns. It is here that she seeds our curiosity by noting that a childhood illness resulted in neurological damage that initially landed her in a wheelchair and that continues to undermine her movement and balance. Yet cautious she's never been. Her astounding brushes with death chronicle continues with a barely averted plane crash, other near-drownings and terrifying encounters with violent men, participation in a circus act with a blindfolded knife-thrower, and a nearly fatal C-section. O'Farrell finally tells the full, harrowing, strangely beautiful story of her battle with encephalitis, only to then reveal her daughter's severe immune disorder. O'Farrell's intrepidness and determination are awe-inspiring, her experiences overwhelming, and her writing impeccable. This is a memoiristic tour de force.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2018

        This memoir will make readers look more closely at the danger they've brushed up against in their lives. British novelist O'Farrell (This Must Be the Place; Instructions for a Heat Wave) explores episodes in which she came close to death: a near drowning, an encounter with a murderer on a deserted hiking trail, dysentery, meningitis, close calls during surgeries, to name a few. With each chapter, the author reveals more of her experiences, including parenting a daughter with multiple and severe allergies. Though not expressly addressed to her daughter, O'Farrell's book serves to show her (and readers) that we are not alone in our clashes with fate. In confronting her own mortality, she proves that she isn't isolated in these frightening moments, but instead resilient and courageous. VERDICT A heartfelt meditation on the fragility and wonder of life, O'Farrell's work emphasizes the body's desire to fight for survival, even as it takes on challenges from all sides. (Memoir, 12/13/17)--RD

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2018

        British novelist O'Farrell has won the Betty Trask, Somerset Maugham, and Costa Novel awards, so expect this memoir to grip you down to your fingertips, and that's not just a guess; the Guardian calls it extraordinary. Her brushes with death range from battling childhood encephalitis to encountering a dangerous man on a mountain path. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription
On seventeen occasions, award-winning novelist Maggie O’Farrell has stared death in the face—and lived to tell the tale.
In this astonishing #1 Sunday Times bestelling memoir by the author of Hamnet, she shares the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life: The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life’s myriad dangers.
Here, O’Farrell stiches together these discrete encounters to tell the story of her entire life. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, she captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life...
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