On a crisp October day in 2002, Lindsey O'Connor woke from a 47-day medically induced coma. She heard her ecstatic husband's voice and saw his face as she emerged from the depths of unconsciousness. She was bewildered by the people around her who looked so overjoyed and were so thoroughly attentive and attuned to her every move. Then came the question: "Do you remember that you had a baby?"
Lindsey drifted in and out of consciousness again for weeks. When she finally and gradually surfaced permanently from her long submersion, she struggled to understand that the day her baby came into the world was the day she left it. Her awakening was the happy ending for her family and friends--the miracle they had been praying for--but it was just the beginning of Lindsey's long and frightening journey toward a new reality.
With visceral images and richly layered storytelling, Lindsey O'Connor vividly tells the poignant true story of the struggle to reenter her world and rebuild her identity. Underlying this life and death battle is a story of lost and found love, the effort to make sense of life-altering events, and the continuing search for self. This moving memoir paints a powerful picture of pain, beauty, and the unsurpassable gift of finally knowing who you are.
Lindsey O'Connor is an author, a freelance journalist, and a speaker who has contributed to public radio's Weekend America, WashingtonPost.com, The Rocky Mountain News, Christianity Today, Writer's Digest, Guideposts, and others. She has reported internationally, is a former broadcaster, was a finalist for an Audie Award, and is a member of The Association of Independents in Radio and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She and her family live in Colorado.
"A searingly honest story of one woman's awakening from a coma after her baby's birth--and her long road back...Unforgettable." - Eric Metaxas, New York Times bestselling author
"Brilliant and renewing. A spectacular work of reflection, remembering, reconciling, and recovering. Memoir writing at its finest." - Patricia Raybon, author of My First White Friend and I Told the Mountain to Move
"Good things often happen when a great story meets a talented storyteller. But Lindsey O'Connor's grasp of literary journalism gives this personal narrative much more substance than the typical memoir. Strong reporting places her experience in larger contexts that add depth and understanding. A true story in the deepest sense of the word." - Jack Hart, author of Storycraft,writing coach, former managing editor of The Oregonian, and editor of two Pulitzer Prize-winning stories
"A lyrical, stunning tale of one woman's return to life. A laughing, weeping story of a family finding their way back home." - Claire Díaz-Ortiz, author, social innovation at Twitter, Inc.
"O'Connor takes us into the groundlessness of intense trauma and reentry, and candidly (sometimes brutally so) shows what it is to resist, receive, and be...grace." - Laura Munson, author of the New York Times and international bestseller This Is Not the Story You Think It Is
"Be careful picking up The Long Awakening because you may be unable to put it down. This is a moving, intimate story, arrestingly written, that glimmers with a keen understanding of what matters." - John Biewen, audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and editor of Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound
"For Lindsey O'Connor, surviving a 47-day coma was only prologue to a miraculous story of science, doubt, faith, and love. Hers is an astonishing narrative, courageously told." - David Schulman, former senior producer, BBC's Americana and creator of public radio's Musicians in Their Own Words
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