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Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

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This product is most effective when used in conjunction with the corresponding double CD.- You can purchase the book and double CD as a pack (ISBN: 9781444100051)@font-face { font-family: "Cambria";}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }- The double CD is also sold separately (ISBN: 9781444100068)(copy and paste the ISBN number into the search bar to find these products)Are you looking for a complete course in French which takes you effortlessly from beginner to confident speaker? Whether you are starting from scratch, or are just out of practice, Complete French will guarantee success!Now fully updated to make your language learning experience fun and interactive. You can still rely on the benefits of a top language teacher and our years of teaching experience, but now with added learning features within the course and online. The course is structured in 25 thematic units and the emphasis is placed on communication, so that you effortlessly progress from introducing yourself and dealing with everyday situations, to using the phone and talking about work. By the end of this course, you will be at Level B2 of the Common European Framework for Languages: Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Learn effortlessly with full colour text, easy-to-read page design and interactive features: NOT GOT MUCH TIME?One and five-minute introductions to key principles to get you started.AUTHOR INSIGHTSLots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience.GRAMMAR TIPSEasy-to-follow building blocks to give you a clear understanding.USEFUL VOCABULARYEasy to find and learn, to build a solid foundation for speaking.DIALOGUESRead and listen to everyday dialogues to help you speak and understand fast.PRONUNCIATIONDon't sound like a tourist! Perfect your pronunciation before you go.TEST YOURSELFTests in the book and online to keep track of your progress.EXTEND YOUR KNOWLEDGEExtra online articles at: www.teachyourself.com to give you a richer understanding of the culture and history of France.TRY THISInnovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.