It’s Not Yet Dark by Simon Fitzmaurice
Published August 1, 2017 by HMH
Genres Nonfiction, Memoir
In 2008, Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (mnd). He was given four years to live. In 2010, in a state of lung-function collapse, Simon knew with crystal clarity that now was not his time to die. Against all prevailing medical opinion, he chose to ventilate in order to stay alive. Here, the young filmmaker, a husband and father of five small children draws us deeply into his inner world. Told in simply expressed and beautifully stark prose – in the vein of such memoirs as Jean-Dominique Bauby’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – the result is an astonishing journey into a life which, though brutally compromised, is lived more fully and in the moment than most, revealing at its core the power of love its most potent. Written using an eye-gaze computer, It’s Not Yet Dark is an unforgettable book about relationships and family, about what connects and separates us as people and, ultimately, about what it means to be alive.
This was a very interesting book, written in a very interesting style. It reminded me of reading someone’s private journal, the way the author sometimes just writes a few sentences and then moves on to a new paragraph. Sometimes jumping topics from the birth of a child to finishing a film to selling a house. It feel casual but deep at the same time. The book begins before the author starts having symptoms and continues until he is in a wheelchair. I have to admit I don’t now that much about ALS, although it is a disease that is getting more attention and research in recent years. The book was very honestly written, that is the best way to describe the author’s writing. The authors begins before he has symptoms and walks us through his diagnosis. He talks about his family, the disease and how to go on living in the midst of a diagnosis like ALS. It is hard to read at times and was also very sad at times, but also very honest. I think it is an important look into the life of someone with ALS and how to keep on living after such a devastating diagnosis.
Thank you to the publisher HMH for sending me an advanced reading copy of this book.