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My year off: Rediscovering life after a stroke
  1. Elizabeth Farnworth,
  2. Tom A T Hughes
  1. Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elizabeth Farnworth, Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK; elizabeth.farnworth{at}

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In My year off: Rediscovering life after a stroke, Robert McCrum, a journalist and publisher, writes about the stroke he suffered when he was 42 and his recovery during the subsequent year. He provides a florid chronological description of events and reflects on his emotions during his journey to recovery. In keeping with his literary background, he includes quotations from famous authors at the beginning of each chapter starting with Henry Thoreau: ‘Things do not change; we change.’ As a group, we felt this was a poignant introduction to the physical and mental effects of his stroke. We also noted the eloquent analogy that McCrum used to describe his stroke as ‘a biological car crash’ which has ‘blown a connection in nerve central’, and we reflected that this emotive description conveyed to the lay reader the devastating effects of a stroke.

The book is interspersed with diary passages, including some by …

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  • Contributors Views from the Cardiff Neurology book club were recorded by EF and formatted into prose. TATH then helped to redraft and appraise the work and the final version was sent to TATH prior to publication.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.