The Unmapped Mind: A Memoir of Neurology, Incurable Disease and Learning How to Live
"My daughter took her first steps on the day I was diagnosed - a juxtaposition so perfect, so trite, so filled with the tacky artifice of real life that I am generally too embarrassed to tell anybody about it."Shortly after his daughter Leontine was born, Christian Donlan's world shifted an inch to the left. He started to miss light switches and door handles when reachingfor them. He would injure himself in a hundred stupid ways every day. First playful and then maddening, these strange experiences were the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis, an incurable and degenerative neurological disease. Ashis young daughter starts to investigate the world around her, he too finds himself exploring a new landscape - the shifting and bewildering territory ofthe brain. He is a tourist in his own body, a stranger in a place that plays bizarre tricks on him, from dizzying double vision to mystifying memory loss. Determined to master his new environment, Christian takes us on a fascinating and illuminating journey: through the history of neurology, the joys andanxieties of parenthood, and the ultimate realisation of what, after everything you take for granted has been stripped away from you, is truly important in life. An Unmapped Mind is a profoundly personal, uplifting and enriching memoir that will change the way you see your body, your mind, and the world around you.
An amazing and wonderful piece of writing. I could not put it down -- Claire Tomalin A wonderful, moving, powerful and immersive book which will help anyone who has or knows someone with MS. Christian Donlan's takes us inside his mind and his beautiful relationship with his daughter, helping us to look at our own relationships from a fresh perspective. -- Julia Samuel An unprecedented first-hand account of the effects of brain disease, and what it is like to have your thoughts shift from under you. Donlan brings us a poetic, compelling and wonderful book. Simply enchanting. -- Daniel Levitin
Christian Donlan is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the New Statesman, Edge magazine and Vice, amongst other places. He is a features editor at Eurogamer.net. He lives in Brighton with his family.