Sunday, April 26, 2009

Not Yet by Wayson Choy (2009)

A Memoir of Living and Almost Dying

From "Framed by Wayson Choy’s two brushes with death, Not Yet is an intimate and insightful study of one man’s reasons for living.

In 2001, Wayson Choy suffered a combined asthma-heart attack. As he lay in his hospital bed, slipping in and out of consciousness, his days punctuated by the beeps of the machines that were keeping him alive, Choy heard the voices of his ancestors warning him that without a wife, he would one day die alone. And yet through his ordeal Choy was never alone; men and women, young and old, from all cultures and ethnicities, stayed by Choy’s side until he was well. When his heart failed him a second time, four years later, it was the strength of his bonds with these people, forged through countless acts of kindness, that pulled Choy back to his life."

Wayson Choy is a beloved Canadian author. It's strange that he is not much read in the "States." Not Yet is a remarkable book that is one of the best illness narratives we have. It weaves cross-cultural themes into the narrative as well.

Publisher information: Not Yet