This is Manette Ansay's long-awaited memoir, and what a story it is. For the first time she writes about her paralysing illness and how it shaped her life as a writer. This is not just another writer's biography, it is a wonderful picture of rural midwestern life and an inspiring story of triumph over adversity.
Manette Ansay (Ann) grew up in a small town not unlike the one she immortalised in Vinegar Hill. Her faith was the Catholicism of her family, and her passion was the piano, which she practised for hours each day, training to become a concert pianist. Her family supported her talent as best they can - her mother during one period driving her daughter on a 100-mile round-trip each week so her daughter could study with the best teacher available.
However by the time Ann was accepted into the prestigious Carnegie college for further musical studies, not only was her religious faith taking a knock, but the pains in her arms and legs were becoming difficult to ignore. At 19, the mysterious muscle disorder forced her to give up the piano, and by 21, she couldn't grip a pen or walk across a room. She entered a world of limbo, one in which no one could explain what was happening to her, or predict what the future would hold.
At 23, beginning a new life in a motorised wheelchair, Ansay made a New Year's resolution to start writing fiction, rediscovering the sense of passion and purpose she thought she had lost for good. Thirteen years and five books later, still without a firm diagnosis or prognosis, Ansay reflects on the ways in which the unravelling of one life can plant the seeds of another, and considers how her own physical limbo has challenged - in ways not necessarily bad - her most fundamental assumptions about life and faith.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 09 / 2001
- 152 x 231mm