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From childhood, acclaimed novelist A. Manette Ansay trained to become a concert pianist. But when she was nineteen, a mysterious muscle disorder forced her to give up the piano, and by twenty-one, she couldn't grip a pen or walk across a room. She entered a world of limbo, one in which no one could explain what was happening to her or predict what the future would hold.

At twenty-three, beginning a whole new life in a motorized wheelchair, Ansay made a New Year's resolution to start writing fiction, rediscovering the sense of passion and purpose she thought she had lost for good.

Thirteen years later, still without a firm diagnosis or prognosis, Ansay reflects on the ways in which the unraveling of one life can plant the seeds of another, and considers how her own physical limbo has challenged—in ways not necessarily bad—her most fundamental assumptions about life and faith.

Luminously written, Limbo is a brilliant and moving testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061860362
List price: $9.99
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This is a moving memoir about what happens when illness steals the most important thing in your life. Ansay spend her youth planning to become a concert pianist. In college she was incapacitated by a mysterious ailment. Ansay was left unable to move her arms, and unable to do much of anything. She had to come to terms with life taking an unexpected turn. Ultimately Ansay came to writing as a way to live with illness. She recognizes the need to grieve the losses brought by her illness. This memoir gives up plenty of discussion of Ansay's childhood, growing up in an austere, Catholic community in Wisconsin. Her childhood was one in which people were expected to find all solace in religion. Any achievement or success was seen as getting ahead of oneself. Each of these stories, of childhood and illness, would be interesting in and of itself. Together they produce a fascinating memoir. Ansay's retelling of her story is sensitive and reflective. She has much to offer anyone dealing with disease and its attendant grief.more
A. Manette Ansay tells us her story of lost dreams. A music major in piano, she lost the use of her arms and was also eventually restricted to a wheelchair. In dealing with incredible pain , she also must endure the doubts of her family and doctors that anything is the matter with her. A story of incredible inner strength and building a new life after the death of a dream.more
Like Manette Ansay I grew up in a small midwestern town in a very conservative religious family and community. Ansay perfectly captures the self-doubt and deeply conflictual feelings that often result. I read this memoir after reading Ansay's fiction and loved finding the "real" events that inspired fictional passages. Ansay writes with heart-breaking honesty yet relays experiences of grace and beauty. It is rare that someone maintains such a tender respect for places of wounding and misunderstanding.more
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Reviews

This is a moving memoir about what happens when illness steals the most important thing in your life. Ansay spend her youth planning to become a concert pianist. In college she was incapacitated by a mysterious ailment. Ansay was left unable to move her arms, and unable to do much of anything. She had to come to terms with life taking an unexpected turn. Ultimately Ansay came to writing as a way to live with illness. She recognizes the need to grieve the losses brought by her illness. This memoir gives up plenty of discussion of Ansay's childhood, growing up in an austere, Catholic community in Wisconsin. Her childhood was one in which people were expected to find all solace in religion. Any achievement or success was seen as getting ahead of oneself. Each of these stories, of childhood and illness, would be interesting in and of itself. Together they produce a fascinating memoir. Ansay's retelling of her story is sensitive and reflective. She has much to offer anyone dealing with disease and its attendant grief.more
A. Manette Ansay tells us her story of lost dreams. A music major in piano, she lost the use of her arms and was also eventually restricted to a wheelchair. In dealing with incredible pain , she also must endure the doubts of her family and doctors that anything is the matter with her. A story of incredible inner strength and building a new life after the death of a dream.more
Like Manette Ansay I grew up in a small midwestern town in a very conservative religious family and community. Ansay perfectly captures the self-doubt and deeply conflictual feelings that often result. I read this memoir after reading Ansay's fiction and loved finding the "real" events that inspired fictional passages. Ansay writes with heart-breaking honesty yet relays experiences of grace and beauty. It is rare that someone maintains such a tender respect for places of wounding and misunderstanding.more
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