Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

The Suspect Speaker

In New Zealand, more than 30,000 people have aphasia.

Aphasia is the loss of a previously held ability to articulate ideas or comprehend spoken or written language, resulting from damage to the brain caused by injury or disease. It doesn’t affect intellect. It is a communication disorder.

BUT - how many people know about the effect that aphasia wreaks on an individual?

The frustrations and the blessings, anger and opportunities, that living with aphasia brings.

And not only the person who has aphasia.

It significantly affects the families, carers and supporters as well.

The Suspect Speaker by James Stephens, aims to illustrate the effect of aphasia on individuals, their families and supporters. And it can help to bring awareness to other people who have no idea about this condition.

The Suspect Speaker comprises 15 short short stories, and each one has three different versions – an A, B, and C version.

The A version is for people who have aphasia that have difficulty in reading. The sentences are compact and descriptions are sparse.

The C versions is for people with aphasia who can read, or who like to be read to, by their supporters and carers. The B versions are in-between.

James Stephens has aphasia himself. He was a teacher, musician and music director, a journalist and event manager – as well as a husband, father and grandfather. He was a voracious reader, a fluent writer and confident speaker.

James had a stroke in January 2015.

He collapsed, paralysed on his right side. The hospital intervention was rapid and they administered a ‘clot-busting’ injection. His limbs were free but his speech was … absent.

Most of our conversation is by email. Talking is still difficult for James.

‘Most of that year, I was a ‘stunned mullet’ – dazed and uncomprehending. My brain said: “Huh! I have a stroke. Ah well.’ My wife and family were more concerned than I was! Now I realise, that I was quite impaired.’

The particular presentation of James’s aphasia made it impossible to work in his old careers. He could understand one or two people – if they spoke slowly – but a meeting or a crowd of people was too much. His speaking is still hesitant or stuck. Optimistically he reinvented himself, electing to view his stroke as a ‘stroke of luck’.

‘My aphasia forced me to look at my life differently. My expected biography has changed. Now, I am an author!’

=============================================

ebook versions: books2read.com/suspectspeaker 
Amazon paperback version: amzn.to/38xzSGX

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland