I was a sales rep for Ron Smith’s publishing company back in the day, and was shocked to learn recently that Ron had suffered from a massive stroke a few years ago. The good news is that I discovered this news when reading an announcement for this book Ron wrote about the experience and his recovery. So I’m now very pleased to be able to bring attention to readers around the world about this very important book by Ron Smith.
What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke Non-fiction: Memoir
Quick description: “What is a stroke?” This is the question that plagues Ron Smith as he emerges from the carpet bombing of his brain. The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke is a first-person account of a massive ischemic stroke to the brain stem. Smith takes the reader inside the experience and shows how recuperation happens ― the challenges of communication, the barriers to treatment, the frustrations of being misunderstood and written-off, the role of memory in recovering identity, the power of continuing therapy, and the passionate will to live.
Full of arresting anecdote, enlivened by a vivid and vigorous style, the book tells of successes and failures and draws on the newest research in stroke treatment.
This is a necessary book for stroke survivors still dealing with the effects of their trauma and for care-givers, vital to the process of recuperation, who feel hampered and harried by concern and confusion. The book is a caring companion, offering support to people navigating the fear and bewilderment that accompanies a stroke. For medical professionals, the book offers insights into the workings of the brain, the power of the brain to heal, critiques of conventional limits imposed on therapy, and suggestions for ways to improve care.
More than an evocative memoir, more than a breathtaking journey out of stroke and back to a literary life, The Defiant Mind is a beautifully written love story; it is a glimpse inside the tender and fulfilling relationship between the author and his wife. Smith makes clear that defiance (with unconditional support) is the first step to making hope a reality.
Ron Smith the author and editor of several books. For close to forty years he taught at universities in Canada, Italy, the States and the UK. In 2002 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of British Columbia and in 2005 he was the inaugural Fulbright Chair in Creative Writing at Arizona State University. In 2011 he was awarded the Gray Campbell Award for distinguished service to the BC publishing industry where he has played an essential role in the growth of literary, historical and public policy publishing. He now lives with his wife, Patricia Jean Smith, also a writer, in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island.
Ron’s promo links:
The Defiant Mind Journal
The World Stroke Organization
CBC News article: ‘They’re little steps, but they all add up’: Stroke survivor sends a message of hope in new book
CBC Radio North by Northwest interview
CBC Radio On the Island interview
Vancouver Sun review (appearing also online at Montreal Gazette, Edmonton Journal, and other Postmedia publications)
BC BookWorld review
What are you working on now?
A new children’s book and a novel
Ron’s reading recommendation:
Anything and everything by John Berger. I particularly like A Fortunate Man and here is where we meet.