STAYIN’ ALIVE

Mag­gie O’Far­rell on sur­vival in I am, I am, I am: Sev­en­teen Brushes With Death

The Simple Things - - FRESH -

Nov­el­ist Mag­gie O’ Far­rell has been a hair’s breadth from death on sev­eral oc­ca­sions: a ter­ri­fy­ing en­counter on a lonely moun­tain walk; a rob­ber with a ma­chete on a beach hol­i­day, and a hor­ri­fy­ing haem­or­rhage dur­ing child­birth. She was crit­i­cally ill as a child, which left last­ing phys­i­cal dam­age, but changed her out­look too: it has made her in­ven­tive in the face of ad­ver­sity – “if you can’t go through, you can al­ways go round”, keen to em­brace all that life has to of­fer, and given her a de­ter­mi­na­tion to be as com­pas­sion­ate and em­pa­thetic as is hu­manly pos­si­ble, learn­ing that “kind­ness, in­tu­ition and touch” can work won­ders, and that “some­times you don’t even need words”. ( Tin­der Press)

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