The inspiring memoir of a young woman who is slowly losing her sight and hearing yet continues to live each day with grace and purpose
Thirty-four-year-old Rebecca Alexander is a psychotherapist, a spin instructor, a volunteer, and an athlete. She is also almost completely blind, with significantly deteriorated hearing. Not Fade Away ($27.00) is a deeply moving exploration of the obstacles we all face—physical, psychological, and philosophical. Like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Rebecca’s story is an exquisite reminder to live each day to its fullest.
When Rebecca was twelve, her parents were told that she would be completely blind before she turned thirty. At eighteen, she fell through a window, shattering her body. In college, she found out that due to a rare genetic disorder—Usher Syndrome Type III—she was losing her hearing as well. Since then, she has earned two Master’s degrees from Columbia University, ridden a six-hundred-mile bike race, hiked the Inca Trail, and established a thriving career—all while maintaining a vibrant social life.
In Not Fade Away, Rebecca charts her journey from a teenager who tried to hide her disabilities, to a woman who is able to face the world exactly as she is. She meditates on what she’s lost—the sound of laughter and skies full of stars, which she can now only imagine (though, she quips, “It’s not like anyone can see stars in New York anyway”)—and what she’s found in return: an exquisite sense of intimacy with family and friends who’ve stuck by her, and a profound appreciation for everything she still has. Even though Rebecca inhabits a gradually darkening world, she refuses to let that stop her from living life with joy and enthusiasm.
Rebecca Alexander, thirty-four, is a psychotherapist, spin instructor, volunteer, and an extreme athlete who is almost completely blind and deaf. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, she currently lives in New York City.