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Just Breathe Normally
 
by
Peggy Shumaker
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Just Breathe Normally

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  10 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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Kindle Edition
Published (first published September 1st 2007)
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Bonnie Brody
Mar 07, 2012 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
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Hannah Comerford
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a disjointed memoir, but it works beautifully for the material. The story of the pulmonary embolism, however, is what impacted me the most. This is the first time I've found an account of one since I've survived one myself, and I could perfectly understand most of what she described. Not only was it well written, but it was also encouraging to hear the story of another "lucky" survivor.
Patricia Murphy
Jan 11, 2013 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
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Ann
Mar 08, 2013 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.
lexo philia
May 18, 2011 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.
Janelle Dunstan
I found this memoir beautiful to read and quite haunting.
Kelly Buntin
Worth the time invested. I like this author's recipe for a memoir.
Sayantani Dasgupta
Brief essays. Jewels.
Amy
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully rendered memoir in short, fragmented pieces. very poetic and moving. clear, intuitive language.
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