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Just Breathe Normally

4.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  79 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews

Just Breathe Normally opens with a traumatic accident. Shattered perceptions and shards of narrative recount the events, from wreck through recovery and beyond. In lyric prose, the stories spiral back through generations to touch on questions of mortality and family, immigration and migration, legacies intended or inflicted.

In the wake of her near-fatal cycling collision,

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Published September 1st 2007 by University of Nebraska Press
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Bonnie Brody
Mar 07, 2012 Bonnie Brody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful and insightful memoir. After being injured in a horrific accident, the
author reflects on her life as she recuperates. Between episodes of 'Law and Order' which
she watches incessantly during her recuperation, she peers deeply into her childhood and
adult experiences. I watched 'Law and Order' during a recuperation, too, and I wonder
what it is about this series that helps healing or works to abate the horrible boredom that
accompanies recuperation.

The book is both poignant and br
Patricia Murphy
Aug 12, 2015 Patricia Murphy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
A stunning memoir with a fluid approach to image and time. This is so carefully crafted--from the sentence level, to the intricate weave of story lines. The deep, thoughtful characterization here helps us learn what we need to know most about the author herself.

Volkswagen packed tight as a tick on a boxer’s dog’s flop ear, we set out toward the Black Hills, then Rocklake, North Dakota, the mythical place my mother was born, and where she lived in the time before time began. Five of us, mashed i
Sayantani Dasgupta
Brief essays. Jewels.
lexo philia
May 18, 2011 lexo philia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book of vignettes and essays, all written around the central event of a devastating bicycle accident Shumaker suffered. Though I found her occasionally whiny, there are also lines and phrases so beautiful and clear I had to stop, blink, and read them again. And again.

Bonus: the format lends itself well to readers with attention deficits, like myself.
Nov 25, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, flash
This is a poignant memoir by the former poet laureate of Alaska. Shumaker weaves her recuperation from a horrible bicycle accident with flashes of her childhood. The key word here is 'flash,' as the author layers flash nonfiction pieces (aka lyric essays or micro-essays) one on top of another to achieve the narrative arc of the memoir.
Feb 26, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully rendered memoir in short, fragmented pieces. very poetic and moving. clear, intuitive language.
Kelly Buntin
May 14, 2012 Kelly Buntin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth the time invested. I like this author's recipe for a memoir.
Janelle Dunstan
I found this memoir beautiful to read and quite haunting.
Oct 01, 2008 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely writing - memoir by Fairbanks author
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