Tag Archives: stroke

Imagination in the Stroke Ward

“What mazes there are in this world. The branches of trees, the filigree of roots, the matrix of crystals, the streets her father recreated in his models… None more complicated than the human brain, Etienne would say, what may be the most complex object in existence; one wet kilogram within which spin universes.”

So writes Anthony Doerr in “All the Light We Cannot See,” a brilliant novel that won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It’s the book I’ve been reading this week and (sadly) the only novel I’ve read all year. Between my shifts at the hospital, I crack open the covers, unfurl the pages, and fall into the universe that Doerr spins with his sharp sentences. I follow two characters, two unusual children in extraordinary circumstances: Werner, a scrawny albino orphan prodigy conscripted by the Nazis for his mastery of radios and who fights to retain his humanity; and Marie-Laure, a blind French girl hiding in a walled seaside city who becomes a vulnerable courier and a dreamer.  For hours at a time, the book’s words transport me into the vividly bleak fictional realities of two children in the maelstrom of World War II. Continue reading Imagination in the Stroke Ward