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Book Cover for: The Child Who never Spoke: 231/2 Lessons in Fragility, Cristina Nehring

The Child Who never Spoke: 231/2 Lessons in Fragility

Cristina Nehring

In 2009 Cristina Nehring's brilliant first book, A Vindication of Love, was featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. An important new voice had appeared in American letters. Just as suddenly, Nehring seemed to disappear-only to reemerge like a bolt from the blue.

"Now unexpectedly from Paris comes a heartbreaking and tender memoir, The Child Who Never Spoke, that explains her years of silence. These 'lessons in fragility' tell of Nehring's unexpected pregnancy and birth of a 'special child, ' a baby girl with Down syndrome in its most extreme form. Forthright, profound, and passionate, this new book is also a vindication of love. Although it tells a story full of sorrow, The Child Who Never Spoke is a not a sad book but a profound and joyous testament to the love between a mother and daughter."

-Dana Gioia, California poet laureate and author of Can Poetry Matter?


"One of the most graceful, tender and wise books I have ever read."

-Christina Hoff Sommers, Senior Fellow Emeritus, American Enterprise Institute


"A colorful, harrowing, engrossing account of mothering in extremis by one of the world's last bohemians and true free spirits. Nehring has a lot to teach the rest of us about finding adventure and joy during times of darkness and crisis."

-Katie Roiphe, author of In Praise of Messy Lives and editor of Janet Malcolm: The Last Interview and Other Conversations

"The Child Who Never Spoke: 23 1/2 Lessons in Fragility is more than a guidebook to the unexpected gifts of adversity. It is a love story, an adventure tale, an impetuous travelog, and a suspenseful medical saga (you can almost hear the hospital beeps in the background) borne along by Nehring's buoyant breadth of spirit and the unbreakable bond with her daughter Eurydice. And the writing! So elegant and intimate!"

-James Wolcott, author of the memoir Lucking Out and Critical Mass

"Her prose is pure gold. Like a fine painting, or aged Scottish malt, she succeeds by avoiding all of the usual pretentious mistakes that drive me bonkers. Incredibly thrifty use of words/brushstrokes: not a trace of self-pity or showiness. I'm in awe of her talent."

-Rob Kay, parent of Jordan Kay, with Down Syndrome


"Cristina Nehring is an extraordinary writer ... We all live among families with special needs children, but we have never read anything as intimate, revealing and celebratory about them as this page-turner of a book."

-Helen Epstein, author of Children of the Holocaust and Getting Through It: A Year of Cancer During Covid

"In The Child Who Never Spoke, Cristina Nehring trades her life as a "romantic, a nomad, a solitary" for the ultimate act of partnership: motherhood. Though her dive into domestic life is full of seemingly cruel plot twists, Nehring draws from mothering a series of insights so tender they take the reader's breath away."

-Heather Harpham, author of Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After

Book Details

  • Publisher: Heliotrope Books LLC
  • Publish Date: Dec 12nd, 2023
  • Pages: 204
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.50in - 5.50in - 0.69in - 0.82lb
  • EAN: 9781956474367
  • Categories: MemoirsPeople with DisabilitiesChildren with Special Needs
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