Related to: 'Lifeshocks'

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.

Coronet

The Cancer Whisperer

Sophie Sabbage
Authors:
Sophie Sabbage

'A brilliant book, for anybody who is living with cancer, and it affects us all...this is invaluable.' - ITV LorraineThis book does not offer a cure for cancer. It offers a cure for your fear of cancer.Sophie Sabbage's breakthrough book combines practical advice with a new approach that turns traditional attitudes to cancer on their head. Sophie Sabbage was diagnosed with late stage 'incurable' lung cancer in October 2014. She was 48 years old, happily married with a 4-year-old daughter. Since that day - when doctors told Sophie that her prognosis was poor - she has been on a remarkable journey of healing and transformation that has reshaped her vocation as well as changed her life for the better. The Cancer Whisperer chronicles Sophie's extraordinary relationship with cancer and the methods that she has used for dealing with fear, anger, denial and grief. The essence of 'cancer whispering' was born of Sophie's determination to take cancer off the battlefield and into the classroom. Instead of going to war with it, Sophie has chosen to listen to it, learn from it and choose her own response to it.Sophie offers a radically different way of relating to this disease both mentally and practically: she shares the research she has done, the treatments she has chosen, the diet she follows and the resources that she feels have made the biggest differences in the hope that they will help others cut through the mass of information out there.Sophie says: 'This book is for the cancer patient who wants to remain a dignified, empowered human being even when your doctors and diagnosis are scaring the hell out of you. It is also for the cancer patient who has a hunch that there is something for them to learn, gain or even be transformed by - if they just knew how to relate to this disease differently to the way most of society does. It is for the cancer patient, perhaps any patient.'

Ann Bracken

Ann Bracken is currently a Fertility Counsellor & Psychotherapist at world-renowned London fertility clinic, The Lister Fertility Clinic, which is part of The Lister Hospital. She previously worked as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and Fertility Counsellor in SIMS IVF (2011-14), Ireland's largest fertility clinic, and has had many years' experience working within national health settings (UK and Ireland) as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist (CBT) and Mindfulness-Based Therapist. Ann qualified at Harvard University in Mind/Body Programme Training (specific to fertility support) under world-renowned psychologist and Mind/Body Programme pioneer, Dr Alice Domar, who is Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF, and is contributing a foreword to this book. Ann also runs an international online Fertility Counselling and Psychotherapy service at www.fertilitycounsellingonline.com

Dominique Antiglio

Dominique Antiglio is a qualified and globally sought-after Sophrologist, founder of BeSophro, a leading Sophrology clinic in London, UK with an online platform, that specialises in stress and anxiety management, self-development and birth preparation.Born in Switzerland, Dominique was introduced to Sophrology at 15 years old to overcome health issues, learning early on the ways to positively connect with herself and embrace a new way of living. She gained her Masters in Caycedian Sophrology (2006) notably training with Professor Caycedo, the founder of the method in Spain. She is a graduate of the renowned European School of Osteopathy in Kent, UK, ran a successful osteopathic clinic for a decade, and holds a Holistic Voice Diploma (UK). In 2011, having witnessed so many positive changes through the power of Sophrology for herself and her clients, she moved to London and founded BeSophro to support and inspire people in finding a calmer and happier life through the practice of Sophrology.Her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology, is the first widely published book on Sophrology in English and is now a leading authority on the subject, having also received an endorsement from Sir Anthony Seldon. It has been instrumental in spreading the practice beyond continental Europe. Dominique's expertise is regularly sought in the media and her work has been featured in the Times, The Guardian, ELLE and Marie-Claire among others. She is also a regular workshop host and speaker.To find out more about BeSophro classes, workshop, and online programs or join Dominique's community, visit www.be-sophro.co.uk.

Elijah Lawal

Elijah is a PR manager at Google and is passionate about helping underrepresented people grow their careers in creative industries. He was a finalist of the Penguin WriteNow scheme.This is his first book.

Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand grew up in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching/writing fellow. She now lives with her husband and their three children on Nantucket, Massachusetts, where her novels are set.You can follow Elin on Twitter @elinhilderbrand or find out more on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/ElinHilderbrand.

Funmi Fetto

Funmi Fetto, a former beauty director of British Vogue and currently Contributing Beauty Editor and Columnist at the title, has over 15 years experience as a fashion and beauty journalist. She has worked and written for numerous publications including the Sunday Times, Harpers Bazaar, the Telegraph, Guardian, Observer, and Elle. She also consults for and collaborates with numerous global beauty brands.

Gary John Bishop

Born and raised in Glasgow, Gary John Bishop moved to the US in 1997. This opened up his pathway to the world of personal development, specifically to ontology and phenomenology in which he was rigorously trained for a number of years before becoming a senior programme director with one of the world's leading personal development companies. His lifelong commitment to shifting people's ability to exert real change in their lives drives him each and every day. He has a no-frills approach that has brought him an ever increasing following, drawn to the simplicity and real-world use of his work. He lives in Florida with his wife and three sons.

Jonathan Alpert

JONATHAN ALPERT, a licensed psychotherapist and advice columnist, is one of the US media's favorite sources of no-nonsense lifestyle advice, quotes, and commentary. The New York Observer has called him 'Manhattan's most media-friendly psychotherapist' and 'the media's go-to guy for psychoanalyzing the City.'He regularly appears on television, print, radio, and online. He appears on such nationally televised shows as The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, FOX and NBC Nightly News.Alpert appeared in the 2010 Oscar winning documentary Inside Job where he commented on the psychological underpinnings of the financial crisis. His popular column, "No More Drama," appears in Metro newspaper - New York, Boston, and Philadelphia - and reaches more than one million readers weekly. In it he dishes out no-nonsense, results-oriented advice on relationships, sex, lifestyle and hot-button issues, mental health, and career issues.As a therapist, he counsels everyone from corporate executives to professional entertainers and the general public. His style of therapy leads to astonishing results and many of Alpert's clients see improvements by the end of the first session while most graduate from therapy within just a few months.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is the bestselling author of more than 100 inspirational books, including The Power of Simple Prayer, Approval Addiction, Power Thoughts and Battlefield of the Mind. Joyce's 'Enjoying Everyday Life' radio and television programmes are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Kathleen Eisenhardt

Kathleen M. Eisenhardt is Professor of Strategy and Organization at Stanford University. She received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Brown University, holds an M.S. in computer science and received a Ph.D. from Stanford's Graduate School of Business. She also has several honorary degrees including from London Business School. She is the co-author (with Shona L. Brown) of Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos.

Kristin Neff

Kristin Neff PhD is an associate professor in human development at the University of Texas and has been researching and studying self compassion for the past decade. She published the first journal article that defined and examined self compassion. She also created the Self Compassion Scale, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages and is used by hundreds of researchers worldwide. She gives lectures on self compasssion internationally and runs workshops. She lives in Austin, Texas.Visit: www.self-compassion.org

Lorna Byrne

Lorna Byrne has been seeing and talking to angels since she was a baby. Now that her family is raised she talks openly about what she has learned. She lives quietly in rural Ireland. She is the author of the international bestsellers Angels in My Hair, Stairways to Heaven, A Message of Hope from the Angels and Love From Heaven. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. For more information, visit www.lornabyrne.com or follow Lorna on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lornabyrneangels

Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Positive Psychology Network, gave the Centennial address to the British Psychological Society in 2002 and is an Honorary Professor at the University of Cardiff. A former President of the American Psychological Association, he has written over 20 books including the bestselling Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness and in 2009 was awarded the British Academy's Wiley Prize in Psychology. He is widely considered the pre-eminent expert on applied psychology in the world.

Mary Jane Grant

Mary Jane Grant is an experienced writer, a professor of creative thinking, a consultant in marketing, and a student of mindfulness. She divides her time between London and Toronto.

Mike Gayle

Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology, he moved to London to pursue a career in journalism and worked as a Features Editor and agony uncle. He has written for a variety of publications including The Sunday Times, the Guardian and Cosmopolitan.Mike became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend, which was hailed by the Independent as 'full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations,' and by The Times as 'a funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic'. Since then he has written thirteen novels including Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty and Wish You Were Here. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.You can find him online at mikegayle.co.uk and on Twitter @mikegayle.

Mithu Storoni

As Mithu Storoni became a doctor, dabbled in neuroscientific research, trained in ophthalmic surgery, taught yoga, and earned a PhD in neuro-ophthalmology, she studied "illness" through different angles, all of which led to the brain. The deeper she ventured into the study of "illness" the more aware she became of the vital role played by chronic stress in the transformation from "wellness" to "illness." Moving from fast-paced London to the breakneck Asian business hub of Hong Kong heightened this awareness as Mithu watched her thriving friends and colleagues reluctantly abandon their passion, energy, and mental agility and surrender their flourishing careers, because of chronic, unbridled stress. This prompted Mithu to write this book. Mithu received her medical degree from the University of Cambridge and conducted her research in neuro-ophthalmology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, where she was a Clinical Research Fellow until recently moving to Hong Kong with her husband.

Monty Don

MONTY DON is a well-known gardening writer and broadcaster. He lives with his family, garden and dogs in Herefordshire. His previous books include the Sunday Times best-seller Nigel and Paradise Gardens.@TheMontyDon/themontydon

Mooji

Mooji (Anthony Paul Moo-Young) was born in Jamaica in 1954. As a teenager he moved to London, where he later worked as a street portrait artist and then as an art teacher in the local college. In 1987, an encounter with a Christian mystic inspired Mooji to 'walk out of his life' - an expression he uses to convey the profundity of that meeting. In 1983, Mooji travelled to India, where seemingly by chance, he met his Master, Sri HWL Poonja, or Papaji, as he is affectionately known by his devotees. At Papaji's feet, whatever still remained of an active ego was finally uprooted. Recognising Mooji's radiance, people from various parts of the world soon began to approach him to simply sit in his presence and to ask questions regarding their search for Truth. The capactity to guide them arose spontaneously in him. While Mooji's presence exudes compassion and devotion, his unity with Truth is also potently shared through self-inquiry, the unsparing light of wisom which dispels the delusions and suffering common to human experiencing. In his direct and open interactions, each one who meets Mooji with a genuine urge for freedom is pulled by his profound unconditional love and the power of his pointings into the recognition of the infinite Self we already are. Mooji continues to share Satsang worldwide with all who yearn to discover their true nature.

Nicky Gumbel

Nicky Gumbel is the pioneer of Alpha. Alpha is an international organisation that runs the Alpha Course which is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Nicky read law at Cambridge and theology at Oxford, practised as a barrister and is now vicar of HTB in London.@nickygumbel

Nigel Cumberland

Nigel Cumberland is an award-winning global coach who helps leaders and teams to optimise and enhance their success in both their careers and lives. He has coached and trained at some of the world's most prestigious organisations such as the United Nations, the World Bank Group, Standard Chartered Bank, Google, Dell, LVMH, Christian Dior, Continental AG and the Dubai Government. He is also one of the elite Marshall Goldsmith approved coaches and a member of Harvard Business Review's Advisory Council. He is also a Freeman of the City of London and has been given the award as one of the world's top 100 leadership coaches.