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Where Is the Mango Princess?
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About the Author

Cathy Crimmins has written several humor books, and her articles have appeared in The Village Voice, Redbook, Readers' Digest, and Glamour, among other publications. She received the Outstanding Book Award in General Nonfiction for Where is the Mango Princess? from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She taught nonfiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania. She died in 2009 at the age of 54.

Reviews

Although it was frightening when Crimmins's husband, Alan, an attorney, suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while on a family vacation, it was his long-term rehabilitation that proved most daunting, for brain injuries can cause significant personality changes. This chronicle of Al's injury, treatment and rehabilitation shows how perplexing and stressful traumatic brain injury can be for both victim and family. Crimmins (When My Parents Were My Age, They Were Old and Newt Gingrich's Bedtime Stories for Orphans) knows how to tell a story for maximum effect, filling this account with funny and outrageous anecdotes, raw emotion and predictable rage toward HMOs that won't fund optimal treatment. Like many TBI patients, Al became bizarrely uninhibited; Crimmins describes how he swears profusely and masturbates in public, and her worries about suddenly being married to a stranger: "I once had a husband who was doing a dissertation on Samuel Beckett, who had a thing for obscure Japanese cinema.... I can't imagine being married to a man who won't be able to discuss books or go to the theater with me." Despite Alan's extraordinarily good recovery, Crimmins muses, "I miss his dark side.... Now I wince as he chortles over mediocre cartoons... with TBI he has become what he wasn't before, a regular, uncomplicated guy." Though this story is an eye-opener on some levels, it remains essentially shallow. More information on neurological research would have been welcome, and attention to the experience of other TBI families (to which Crimmins devotes only three paragraphs) would have added the perspective that this self-centered account lacks. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"[S]imply amazing. [An] astonishing alchemical story of tragedy and recovery."
--Anne Lamott, author of Traveling Mercies

"A portrait of family tragedy all the more poignant for mixing humor with blazing honesty."
--Elle

"Transcends the subject of illness to become an inspiring meditation on the enduring nature of love."
--Us Weekly

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