Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience

Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience

by Laurence Gonzales


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You have survived the crisis—trauma, disease, accident, or war—now how do you get your life back?

The shark attacked while she was snorkeling, tearing through Micki Glenn’s breast and shredding her right arm. Her husband, a surgeon, saved her life on the spot, but when she was safely home she couldn’t just go on with her life. She had entered an even more profound survival journey: the aftermath.

The survival experience changes everything because it invalidates all your previous adaptations, and the old rules don’t apply. In some cases survivors suffer more in the aftermath than they did during the actual crisis. In all cases, they have to work hard to reinvent themselves. Drawing on gripping cases across a wide range of life-threatening experiences, Laurence Gonzales fashions a compelling argument about fear, courage, and the adaptability of the human spirit. Micki Glenn was later moved to say: “I don’t regret that this happened to me. [It] has been . . . probably the single most positive experience I’ve ever had.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393346633
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/14/2013
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 428,344
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Laurence Gonzales is the author of Surviving Survival, Flight 232, and the bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. He has won two National Magazine Awards and is a scholar at the Sante Fe Institute. He divides his time between Evanston,
Illinois, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Table of Contents

Prologue: No Way Home 1

1 Be Here Now: From Victim to Rescuer 9

2 The Crocodile Within: The Burden of Invisible Memory 20

3 The Way of Survival: Rage in the Realm of the Spirits 36

4 The Gift of Adversity: A Survivor's Attitude and the Personal Scum Line 50

5 The Tyranny of Reason: Blindsight, Gut Feelings, and the Sixth Sense 66

6 Want It, Need It, Have It: Of Phantom Limbs and Children 87

7 See One, Do One, Teach One: The Secret of Seeking 103

8 "Please, God, Let Me Kill Her": Dismantling the Self 120

9 Searching for Frankenstein: Knitting with Words 132

10 Lessons from Ishmael: The Neurophysiology of Travel 145

11 The Bear: One Flew East, One Flew West 161

12 The Bricklayer: The Long Way Home 176

13 The Courage to Suffer: If He Can Do It, You Can, Too 187

14 The Science of Adaptation: There's No Revenge Like Success 201

15 The Rules of Life 210

Author's Note 223

Notes 225

References 235

Acknowledgments 243

Credits 243

Index 245

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Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SharkBait2002 More than 1 year ago
   Mine is one of many stories in this book, of survival and its aftermath. Almost ten years ago, following a physically and emotionally devastating shark attack, I shunned the media and denied all interviews. When author Laurence Gonzales asked whether he could include my story in this book, I felt certain that it was time, and that his book is the right venue. His previous best seller, Deep Survival, changed the way I look at the physical world. Surviving Survival changed the way I look at everything. My story is horrific enough, but as I read the stories of the other survivors included in this book, and the after-journey each of them has traveled, I felt awed and humbled. Laurence does a brilliant job of putting the reader in the moment. The most poignant story for me in this book is that of a Holocaust survivor. I've read many accounts in the past, but this is so raw and painful and riveting and so deeply personal that I literally had to put the book down in the middle of it and walk away for several hours before I could continue reading. I wish that every person enduring divorce, or suffering the loss of a loved one, who's battling cancer, or coping with traumatic injury or stress, could read this book. It is both sobering in its intensity, and a soothing balm in terms of leading you through the coping mechanisms and survival journey of others. Masterfully written is an over-used term, but in this case I can't think of a better fit. Thank you Laurence for this fabulous book.
Brittsir More than 1 year ago
I'm enjoying this book very much. I like how it goes beyond what was survived to how they are now doing and what it has taken them to get there. It is very inspirational and has given some great insight. Not just about survival but PTSD. It really points out how it is extremely natural to have some of the responses one does after a traumatic event. It might cause triggers in some people with PTSD, but the book is definitely worth reading. The understanding is immeasurable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago