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You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know

A True Story of Family, Face Blindness, and Forgiveness

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

An unusual and uncommonly moving family memoir, with a twist that give new meaning to hindsight, insight, and forgiveness.

Heather Sellers is face-blind-that is, she has prosopagnosia, a rare neurological condition that prevents her from reliably recognizing people's faces. Growing up, unaware of the reason for her perpetual confusion and anxiety, she took what cues she could from speech, hairstyle, and gait. But she sometimes kissed a stranger, thinking he was her boyfriend, or failed to recognize even her own father and mother. She feared she must be crazy.

Yet it was her mother who nailed windows shut and covered them with blankets, made her daughter walk on her knees to spare the carpeting, had her practice secret words to use in the likely event of abduction. Her father went on weeklong "fishing trips" (aka benders), took in drifters, wore panty hose and bras under his regular clothes. Heather clung to a barely coherent story of a "normal" childhood in order to survive the one she had.

That fairy tale unraveled two decades later when Heather took the man she would marry home to meet her parents and began to discover the truth about her family and about herself. As she came at last to trust her own perceptions, she learned the gift of perspective: that embracing the past as it is allows us to let it go. And she illuminated a deeper truth-that even in the most flawed circumstances, love may be seen and felt.

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Publishers Weekly Review

Jan 17, 2011 – As a child, Sellers moved between households; her alcoholic father drank all night, slept all day, and wore women's clothing on evenings out. Her schizophrenic mother provided no respite; windows were nailed shut in her house, light bulbs were bare, sponge baths were taken in the garage. Sellers remembers watching kids play and "wondering which ones had mothers who would adopt an extra girl." But it's her realization that she suffers from prosopagnosia (face blindness) that ultimately propels her to seek professional help. At her core, she learns, she is a product of her condition; she'd never married, had no children, constantly sought new houses, jobs, cities, people. She was "only comfortable in ambivalence." To recover she must utterly change her life. In one excruciating incident, Seller's listens to a companion complain about a co-worker seated, unbeknownst to her coworker, nearby; though Sellers can see him, she can't recognize him, ultimately ruining another friendship. But with the help of a therapist, Sellers begins telling people about her condition. Sellers handles the jagged transitions between past and present deftly, explaining her life as a story of "how we love each other in spite of immense limitations."

Customer Reviews

You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know

I found her life and diagnosis fascinating. I couldn't put the book down. I enjoyed her writing style and honesty. I wish her well.

Facinating!

Interesting and makes you realize how much you take for granted.

I loved this book!

My first test for a good book is whether I find myself caring for the characters. Heather is an amazing person, and I found myself caring very deeply for her. Another important test is whether the book contributes to my understanding of people, and the human condition. This is where this book soars. I believe I know more about myself, and the people around me, for having read this book. We humans have an amazing mind. This book showed me that we are amazing in ways I ways I had never imagined.

We struggle so to recall names, yet never give a thought to our ability to recall, as familiar, thousands of faces. As the book, and our own experience (upon reflection) makes clear, we recall faces in a way that is entirely different from the way we recall names. The unbelievable power of the human brain for face recognition is something I never thought about or appreciated until I read this book.

My final test for a really great book is whether having read it changes me forever. I will never see myself or others in the same way after reading this book.

You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Oct 14, 2010
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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