The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby | WaterstonesGoodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
The Diving-bell and the Butterfly
You would have to have a hard heart to watch Julian Schnabel's new film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly , without at least coming close to shedding a few tears. It tells the remarkable story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the glamorous editor-in-chief of French Elle, left paralysed apart from one blinking, roving eye following a catastrophic illness. Disaster strikes in December Bauby leans back on his luxury headrest, eyes wide with fear, mouth twisting grossly. He has had a cerebrovascular seizure, a type of stroke, which puts him in a coma for three weeks, and from which he emerges unable to talk, move or perform any of the basic functions of life. His children - he is given three in the film, though in reality he had just two - are shown struggling to behave normally. His daughters sing to him, but there seems little connection.
W rapped up in several sweaters against the chill of a wintry day in Paris, Florence Ben Sadoun sits in a bohemian tea shop near the Luxembourg Gardens. In front of her is a pot of strong coffee and several notebooks scrawled with her work. I can work here, peacefully. Abruptly the peace is broken when a teenage band begins to warm up, attempting - badly - to play scratchy French folk music. Ben Sadoun, who has an open face, with dark eyes, covers her ears, cringes, apologises for the noise, and sinks back into the cushions, wrapping a shawl around herself. She looks smaller than she really is, and vulnerable.
It describes his life before and after suffering a massive stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome. The French edition of the book was published on March 7, It went on to become a number one bestseller across Europe. Its total sales are now in the millions. On December 8, , Bauby, the editor-in-chief of French Elle magazine, suffered a stroke and lapsed into a coma. He awoke 20 days later, mentally aware of his surroundings, but physically paralyzed with what is known as locked-in syndrome , with the only exception of some movement in his head and eyes. His right eye had to be sewn up due to an irrigation problem.