Anesthesia: The Gift of Oblivion and the Mystery of Consciousness

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Product Details

Price
$16.95  $15.59
Publisher
Counterpoint LLC
Publish Date
Pages
416
Dimensions
5.5 X 8.2 X 1.4 inches | 0.9 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781640091566

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About the Author

Kate Cole-Adams is a journalist and novelist. Her debut novel, Walking to the Moon, was published in 2008. She lives in Melbourne with her family.

Reviews

Praise for Anesthesia

An obsessive, mystical, terrifying, and even phantasmagorical exploration of anesthesia's shadowy terra incognita. --The New Yorker

Ms. Cole-Adams's journey was spurred by her discovery in 2010 that she was to be scheduled for major spinal surgery. A novelist as well as a journalist . . . she writes fluidly and dramatically, using her travels, researches, and interviews to trace her anxieties about her forthcoming general anesthetic back to their roots. Her book is as much a diary of the writing process as a scientific investigation. --The Wall Street Journal

Cole-Adams gives us something valuable: a humanistic meditation on pain and our will to forgetting . . . Anesthesia . . . serves as an apt metaphor for our cultural impulse toward numbness . . . Awake to the eventualities of suffering and death, Anesthesia suggests, we might treat ourselves--and each other--more kindly. --Los Angeles Review of Books

Her book explores the terrifying topic of anesthesia awareness . . . Cole-Adams blends bits of pharmacology, neurology, philosophy, and ethics with interviews of patients, researchers, and anesthesiologists . . . with big, baffling questions about the nature of consciousness and memory. --Booklist

Cole-Adams . . . mingles her own experiences under anesthesia with those of other patients and doctors, producing a personal work that is a mix of agony and insight. --Publishers Weekly

Cole-Adams blends research, reflection, and memoir to try to grapple with the meaning of consciousness . . . These are thought-provoking questions, and Cole-Adams presents a lyrical journey through the vital question of what it means to be human. --Kirkus Reviews

If you've ever gone under--or even if you haven't--the book will horrify you. --Los Angeles Review of Books

Kate Cole-Adams's new book, Anesthesia . . . us[es] a combination of memoir and journalistic inquiry to investigate what consciousness really is. Reading Anesthesia, one learns a great deal about the practicalities of anesthesia, the errors that are made, the attitudes of medical professionals about anesthesia, even the history of anesthesia and how (gruesomely) invasive surgery was done prior to its invention. --The Cut

Elegantly and, at times, heart-breakingly parsing the murky space between presence and absence, Cole-Adams has crafted a mesmerizingly unique memoir that is bound to haunt readers well beyond the last page. --Winnipeg Free Press

For those who wonder what becomes of the body while it is undergoing general anesthesia--perhaps the closest that many of us have been to the experience of death--this book looks at the notion of being rendered unconscious from a panoply of sources. A must-read for anyone who woke from surgery and couldn't remember anything about the experience. --Signature Reads

With Anesthesia, Kate Cole-Adams has given us a gift. She explores not only the concepts but the characters who hope to understand the shadowy world of the anesthetized mind. However, Cole-Adams transforms from being an observer to a fellow journeyer, providing authentic insight and transmitting the excitement of those who believe that these drugs are ethereal keys that could unlock the vault of consciousness itself. --George Mashour, author of Neuroscientific Foundations of Anesthesiology

I think [Anesthesia] is utterly brilliant. I will read anything this woman writes forever more. She is Just. So. Good. Human, funny, insightful, supersmart, a most original and perceptive writer. I ended the book in tears. It is not just about medical stuff, but deeply personal stuff. About the psyche, and pain of all kinds, and triumphing, surviving, exploring, being brave and powerful and honest. About what is said and what isn't, about listening, about dreams and hypnosis and consciousness, which is to say, about our deepest selves. You might be getting the picture: I adored it to bits. --Charlotte Wood, author of The Natural Way of Things

A work of splendid richness and depth, driven by a curiosity so intense that it hazards at times the extreme boundaries of the sayable. --Helen Garner, author of Everywhere I Look

Kate Cole-Adams has written an insightful and moving exploration of general anesthesia: a must-read for anesthetists and their patients. --Professor Kate Leslie, head of research in the Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management, Royal Melbourne Hospital; former head of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

This book is a compelling exploration from a patient perspective of the still poorly understood phenomenon of 'anesthesia', and of the uncertain border between being unconscious and awake. Much of this material will be new not only to patients but also to many practitioners. --Professor Jaideep Pandit MA, BM, DPhil, FRCA, FFPMRCA, DM, Consultant Anaesthetist, Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Fellow St John's College