I Live a Life Like Yours

I started Jan Grue’s new memoir listening to his story on Audible. It’s titled “I Live a Life Like Yours.”

Oh, no Jan. You so do not.

I’m walking listening to his story. Free to take a step, not giving a moment’s consideration to how I keep my balance. And then following this step with another and another and another.

Suffering from Sciatica DK? Put out a bit? YOU are suffering?

Grue was diagnosed as a child with a rare form of spinal atrophy. As Michael J. Fox explains in his book review, “all of the wins in his life are come-from-behind —  a person who is much more than what others see. He discovers that “to be stared at, gawked at, is …to be situated in a narrative that has already been written, and that is told by others.” “The world,” he says, “perceives a body with frail arms, legs locked into certain angles…in a large bulky wheelchair” as not…a whole man…He offers messages of wisdom that will resonate long after you’ve finished the memoir. “At some point or another I stopped thinking about myself as someone who needed repairing.

Dwight Garner is his book review describes “A Life Like Yours” a quietly brilliant book that warms slowly in the hands. And that it does. I, highly recommend the book.

Let me close with a passage from his memoir.

Since an early age, I had known that I had spinal muscular atrophy… I would like to think myself away from my body, away from my injured, worn ankles. But there is no me that exists apart from this body, in some unmarked form. That body would have lived an entirely different sort of life. And yet it haunts me. It casts another kind of shadow. I shut my eyes and go skiing each winter, I run 10K each morning. I dash off to another country at a moment’s notice, grab my carry-on, run out the door and hail a taxi, make my way quickly through the security check and sprint to the gate. I haven’t made arrangements for where I’ll stay when I arrive, I climb into a taxi and simply say: Drive me somewhere I haven’t been before.

I open my eyes.

— Jan Grue, I Live a Life Like Yours: A Memoir. B. L. Crook (Translator). (FSG Originals, August 17, 2021)


  1. “Oh yes he did”, Honesty can sometimes truly offer freedom. Thank you for sharing this book.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh he did, and so much more. His way. And wow.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh wow… Nothing like perspective to smack us one… He sounds like an amazing person.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. There are all kinds of bodies that embrace heroes – as he would be too humble to attest

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow! That takes some strength of character.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a powerful person

    Liked by 1 person

  7. wow – this sounds like a powerful book. I’m sure it will cause many readers to reflect on their blessings…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve seen praise for this memoir a lot lately. Thanks for the inspiration. I’m dealing with the limitations of old age, and it’s truly humbling to be aware of someone who has these limitations all of his life. Vulnerability is strength!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ll comment later, when I’m at the 💻….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Perspective is everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for sharing this author. I’ve put him on the Must Read booklist I keep for a future in which unlimited reading is possible.


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