The Man Who Forgot How to Read

A Memoir

Howard Engel, Afterword by Oliver Sacks

Thomas Dunne Books

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The remarkable journey of an award-winning writer struck with a rare and devastating affliction that prevented him from reading even his own writing
One hot midsummer morning, novelist Howard Engel picked up his newspaper from his front step and discovered he could no longer read it. The letters had mysteriously jumbled themselves into something that looked like Cyrillic one moment and Korean the next. While he slept, Engel had experienced a stroke and now suffered from a rare condition called alexia sine agraphia, meaning that while he could still write, he could no longer read.
            Over the next several weeks in hospital and in rehabilitation, Engel discovered that much more was affected than his ability to read. His memory failed him, and even the names of old friends escaped his tongue. At first geography eluded him: he would know that two streets met somewhere in the city, but he couldn’t imagine where. Apples and grapefruit now looked the same. When he returned home, he had trouble remembering where things went and would routinely ?nd cans of tuna in the dishwasher and jars of pencils in the freezer.
           Despite his disabilities, Engel prepared to face his dilemma. He contacted renowned neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks for advice and visited him in New York City, forging a lasting friendship. He bravely learned to read again. And in the face of tremendous obstacles, he triumphed in writing a new novel.
            An absorbing and uplifting story, filled with sly wit and candid insights, The Man Who Forgot How to Read will appeal to anyone fascinated by the mysteries of the mind, on and off the page.

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Book Excerpts

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  The Man Who Forgot How to Read
MY NAME IS HOWARD ENGEL. I write detective stories. That’s what I tell people when they ask me what I do. I could say I’m a writer or a novelist, but that raises a false echo in my brain, so I’m happier with the more modest claim of writing detective stories. I’ve written quite a few of them.Before I started writing I was a reader. I read widely, everything from the John, Mary and Peter primer of my early childhood to Corn Flakes boxes when there was nothing more inspiring handy. I’ve been a reading junkie since public school.

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Praise for The Man Who Forgot How to Read

“Howard Engel brings to his memoir, The Man Who Forgot How to Read, all the skills he has learned as a crime writer working on the Benny Cooperman books. It is witty, insightful, moving without being sentimental, and it keeps you turning the pages. I urge you to read it.” ---Peter Robinson
“In The Man Who Forgot How to Read, Engel tells his story from the inside, with extraordinary insight, humor, and intelligence. It is a story that is not only as fascinating as one of his own detective novels, but a testament to the resilience and creative adaptation of one man and his brain.” ---Oliver Sacks


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About the Author

Howard Engel, Afterword by Oliver Sacks

Howard Engel is the creator of the enduring and beloved detective Benny Cooperman, who, through his appearance in twelve novels, has become an internationally recognized fictional sleuth. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an Arthur Ellis Award for Crime Fiction. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

Howard Engel

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Man Who Forgot How to Read
A Memoir
Howard Engel, Afterword by Oliver Sacks

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
July 2008
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312382094
ISBN10: 031238209X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 176 pages, Includes b&w illustrations throughout
$19.95

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
July 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429986724
ISBN10: 1429986727
176 pages, Includes black-and-white illustrations throughout
$7.99
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Thomas Dunne Books

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