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About the Author: Jean-Dominique Bauby

Jean-Dominique Bauby was a well-known French journalist and author and editor of the French fashion magazine, ELLE.
On December 8, 1995 at the age of 43, Bauby suffered a massive stroke. When he woke up twenty days later, he found he was entirely speechless; he could only blink his left eyelid. This rare condition is called Locked-in Syndrome, a condition wherein the mental faculties are intact but the entire body is paralyzed. Bauby also lost 60 pounds in the first 20 weeks after his stroke.
Despite his condition, he wrote the book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by blinking when the correct letter was reached by a person slowly reciting the alphabet over and over again. Bauby had to compose and edit the book entirely in his head, and convey it one letter at a time. To make dictation more efficient, Bauby had his interlocutor read from a special alphabet which consisted of the letters ordered in accordance with their frequency in the French language. The book was published in France in 1997. Bauby died just ten days later of pneumonia. He is buried in a family grave at the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France.

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Goodreads rating: 4.01

Paperback, Published in Jan 2008 by Harper Perennial

ISBN10: 0007139845 | ISBN13: 9780007139842

Page count: 139

After suffering a massive stroke, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French Elle and the father of two young children, found himself completely paralysed, speechless and able only to move one eyelid. With his eyelid he 'dictated' this remarkable book.

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