One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing

by Diane Ackerman

Hardcover, 2011

Call number

612.6 ACK



W. W. Norton & Company (2011), 336 pages


Author and naturalist Ackerman reflects on the time she spent caring for her husband, novelist Paul West, after a stroke took his ability to speak. With conventional therapy not working, Ackerman decided to step in and do everything she could to help her husband find his words.

User reviews

LibraryThing member nyiper
What a wonderful book in these times of so many growing older in the midst of "you never know what's going to happen next!" That's life. But Ackerman, and of course her husband, Paul, are a pair to behold, admire, and absorb---for their relationship and their abilities to persevere through so much. One asks, "could I do ANY of that?" One only hopes. Ackerman provides a personal wealth of knowledge to anyone who reads this.… (more)
LibraryThing member dianaoeh
Did he get better or not? That is what keeps you reading this book. This couple's devotion to each other and the intense and literate caregiving by Diane Ackerman are vital in helping author and husband Paul West regain his words after a serious stroke decimates the language area of his brain. Diane had previously researched and written a book about the brain, giving her an advantage in understanding her husband's injuries.… (more)
LibraryThing member lisaflip
This was a decent book. The author's husband suffers a stroke and is affected by apashia, a language disorder which ranges from having difficulty remembering words to being completely unable to speak, read or write. This is especially problematic for this couple as they are both authors and stimulated by words, word games and a rich vocabulary. I didn't relate much to their situation but the book was very well written and their story compelling.… (more)
LibraryThing member lynndp
This book is the story of four years in the life of a couple after the husband suffers serious aphasia caused by a stroke. The sense of loss is heightened by the fact that both husband and wife are successful writers for whom word play is like eating or breathing. The tittle "One Hundred Names for Love" refers to the couples pre-stroke practice of devising novel pet names for each other. The author kept a journal chronicling her husband's frustrations with standard therapy and the non-stop "conversation therapy" that succeeded in guiding him back to his world of words.… (more)
LibraryThing member ammurphy
this would be great before someone had a stroke because it is sort of optomistic but also emphasises how difficult recovery is from aphasia. After the stroke you're too stressed and busy to read it. I found her reporting on the brain helpful in itself for other issues like talking to oneself.




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