Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 304 pages, 8 × 5.18 × 0.77 in
Published: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Random House of Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0679310096
ISBN - 13: 9780679310099
Read from the Book
One For the first eight years of Walker''s life, every night is the same. The same routine of tiny details, connected in precise order, each mundane, each crucial. The routine makes the eight years seem long, almost endless, until I try to think about them afterwards, and then eight years evaporate to nothing, because nothing has changed. Tonight I wake up in the dark to a steady, motorized noise. Something wrong with the water heater. Nnngah . Pause. Nnngah. Nnngah. But it''s not the water heater. It''s my boy, Walker, grunting as he punches himself in the head, again and again. He has done this since before he was two. He was born with an impossibly rare genetic mutation, cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, a technical name for a mash of symptoms. He is globally delayed and can''t speak, so I never know what''s wrong. No one does. There are just over a hundred people with CFC around the world. The disorder turns up randomly, a misfire that has no certain cause or roots; doctors call it an orphan syndrome because it seems to come from nowhere. I count the grunts as I pad my way into his room: one a second. To get him to stop hitting himself, I have to lure him back to sleep, which means taking him downstairs and making him a bottle and bringing him back into bed with me. That sounds simple enough, doesn'' t it? But with Walker, everything is complicated. Because of his syndrome, he can'' t eat solid food by mouth, or swallow easily. Because he can''t eat, he takes in formula thro
From the Publisher
Walker Brown was born with a genetic mutation so rare that doctors
call it an orphan syndrome: perhaps 300 people around the world
also live with it. Walker turns twelve in 2008, but he weighs only
54 pounds, is still in diapers, can't speak and needs to wear
special cuffs on his arms so that he can't continually hit himself.
"Sometimes watching him," Brown writes, "is like looking at the man
in the moon - but you know there is actually no man there. But if
Walker is so insubstantial, why does he feel so important? What is
he trying to show me?"
In a book that owes its beginnings to Brown's original Globe
and Mail series, he sets out to answer that question, a
journey that takes him into deeply touching and troubling
territory. "All I really want to know is what goes on inside his
off-shaped head," he writes, "But every time I ask, he somehow
persuades me to look into my own."
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Ian Brown is an author and a feature writer for The Globe and
Mail whose work has won a total of nine Gold National Magazine
and National Newspaper awards. He is the host of CBC Radio's
Talking Books, as well as the anchor of TVO's two
documentary series, Human Edge and The View from
From the Hardcover edition.
A New York Times Book Review Best Book
A New York Times Notable Book