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Re-Membering, by Ann Millett-Gallant.

January 28, 2017

Re-Membering, by Ann Millett-Gallant.  BookBaby (2016).

3 stars

An insightful and wide-reaching memoir by an art historian about her recovery from a traumatic brain injury.

Ann Millet-Gallant has a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of North Carolina and is actively involved in Disability Studies.  Her previous books are Disability in Contemporary Art and Disability in Art History.  She herself was born with hands and feet which were not fully formed, but she had been able to adapt successfully enough to live a relatively normal life and complete her degree.  Then a freak accident with the scooter which she used for mobility resulted in a very serious traumatic injury to her brain.  Her brain injury interfered with her ability to move the rest of her body.  Her sense of her identity wavered. With the help of family and friends, she was able to move on with her life, marrying, doing art, and writing.

Re-Membering is personal memoir, but not a linear account of Millet-Gallant’s recovery. Like the collages she created as art therapy, the book is a verbal collage of personal experience and academic theory, experience, medical information and art.  Millet-Gallant explains that the book and her art reflect her own thought processes as well as the more nebulous theories popular among some scholars currently.  Yet the theory is interwoven with moving accounts of the author’s own sensations and experiences

I would recommend this book primarily for those who have brain trauma or love someone who does.  It could be a valuable reaffirmation that one who suffers is not alone.

While I appreciate receiving a digital copy of this book, the author’s art work was hard to appreciate in this format.  Her works can be seen on her website.


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