The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a translation of the French memoir Le scaphandre et le papillon by journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby. It describes what his life is like after suffering a massive stroke that left him with a condition called Locked-In syndrome.
The entire book was written by Bauby blinking his left eyelid. An amanuensis repeatedly recited a frequency-ordered alphabet (E, L, A, O, I, N, S, D …), until Bauby blinked to choose the next letter. The book took about 200,000 blinks to write and each word took approximately two minutes.
Runners up were: Vernon God Little, The Elfish Gene and The Butterfly Collector.
Date of next Meeting: Wednesday 5th March (note only two weeks, but it’s a short book) in Mango Landin on Brixton Water Lane.