The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times: A Memoir

Category: Book
By (author): Kavanagh, Peter
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  HEALTH & FITNESS / Diseases / Nervous System (incl. Brain)
  HEALTH & FITNESS / Health Care Issues
  NON-FICTION / Canadian
Publisher: Knopf Random Vintage Canada
Published: April 2015
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 272
Size: 8.52in x 5.79in x 1.00in
Our Price:
$ 29.95
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*From the well-known CBC journalist comes a story of hardship, resilience and repeatedly learning the same lesson.
          Peter Kavanagh was just an infant when he was diagnosed with paralytic polio and suffered permanent paralysis in the lower part of his left leg. As a child, Kavanagh endured painful medical procedures to even out the length of his legs, and experimental exercise techniques. He spent his youth in a leg brace and special footwear, isolating for a boy whose classmates ran freely in sneakers. His first lesson in walking was how to move while wearing such equipment. Throughout his life, as he developed a very successful career in public broadcasting, built a family, and indulged in his love of music and travel, Kavanagh underwent various surgeries and rehabilitation to give him "normal" mobility.
     The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times is a moving memoir of a full life, and of learning the same lesson over and over. Like Oliver Sacks's books and Marni Jackson's classic Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign, it combines medical history with a very personal case study. It documents coping with one's pain, guilt and shame, and the anger that arises from being bullied. But this book is also a story of healing and rehabilitation, and of hard lessons, hard earned--about the courage to keep going and, if one way isn't working, the awareness and bravery to try something new. Over time, these decisions and lessons help form a sense of identity; as Kavanagh says, "Walking is the key to who I am."
Review Quote*"Peter Kavanagh's ordeal is a story about endurance and perseverance-how a devastating disability became the motivation for growth-spiritual, intellectual and even physical. And how the victim of a terrible disease is able to avoid the debilitating handicap of victimhood through raw determination and enduring hopefulness."
-Linden MacIntyre, author of Punishment

"If you totted up the pain, the surgeries, the dashed hopes and unexpected setbacks Peter Kavanagh details in this wonderfully readable memoir, you might brace yourself for a depressing experience. Quite the contrary: Kavanagh's buoyant, curious spirit is an inspiration. Filled with fascinating medical and social history, this is a deft portrait of a man who never stopped learning about himself and what it takes to walk well."
-Katherine Ashenburg, author of The Dirt on Clean

"Most people never remember how they first learned to walk. But Peter Kavanagh, who learned and kept learning, remembers everything. In this honest and original memoir, Kavanagh provides a heartfelt reminder that it's the journey, not the destination, that offers life's best lessons. His is a remarkable story, rich with insights about history, medicine, and the endurance of the human spirit." -Carolyn Abraham, author of The Juggler's Children
Biographical NotePETER KAVANAGH is a veteran of Canadian media, having worked for 25 years at the CBC in television and radio with programs such as The Journal, Morningside, The Sunday Edition and Ideas, as well as publishing in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, the National Post and numerous publications in the United States and Europe. He lives with his wife, Debi Goodwin, in Ontario.