One day it happens: the dreaded event that will change your life forever. For Alix Kates Shulman, it happened in a remote seaside cabin on a coastal Maine island—where the very isolation that makes for a perfect artist’s retreat can also put life at risk. Shulman woke to find that her beloved husband had fallen the nine feet from their sleeping loft and was lying on the floor below, deathly still. Though Scott would survive, he suffered an injury that left him seriously brain impaired. He was the same—but not the same.
In this elegant memoir, Shulman describes the ongoing anxieties and risks—and surprising rewards—she experiences as she reorganizes her world to care for her husband and discovers that what might have seemed a life sentence to some has evolved into something unexpectedly rich.
“An extraordinary and important book.” —Oliver Sacks
“Remarkable . . . [A] brave, elegiac work. Both hopeful and terrifying, it’s a tale of love’s resilience, but also its limits in conquering the sudden cruelties of life . . .A haunting meditation on a love more enduring than the body or mind, and . . . a potent reminder that even an irreparably altered life is still a life to be cherished.” —Renee Graham, The Boston Globe
“This is the story of great love forged when death almost parts you and then doesn’t—a book that will take its place next to those slender volumes that become tattered and torn as I read and reread and reread, as if my own life depended on it. To Love What Is is Alix Kates Shulman’s masterpiece.” —Honor Moore, author of The Bishop’s Daughter
“This remarkable book speaks openly and honestly and with exquisite poignancy about the durability of love.” —Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon