Thursday, October 22, 2015
Book Review: Head Case
Enter Cole Cohen. She lived just such a scenario. She had long been plagued with the difficulties of telling her left from her right, of judging the speed and motion of oncoming moving objects, of solving simple mathematical equations, or of keeping letters and numbers from flipping in her mind. Finally, at the age of twenty-six, when she is on the cusp of beginning a MFA degree, doctors discover a hole in her brain the size of lemon. In her touching memoir, Head Case: My Brain and Other Wonders, Cohen writes very honestly about her struggles and how her struggles impacted the people around her. Without whining about the hand she has been dealt, she conveys humor in the midst of a very perplexing situation. Given the size of the hole in her brain, it is remarkable that she is able to function as well as she does, and to write a memoir about the journey is even more incredible.
While the story was intriguing and well-told, I still wouldn't declare it one of my favorite memoirs about neurological difficulties. I think if someone approached me requesting a recommendation for a great neurological memoir, I would be far more likely to recommend Susannah Cahalan's Brain on Fire, reviewed here. It was simply a more powerful book, with a wider reaching purpose. But, if you plan to read it, do so soon, before it comes out in movie form in 2016.