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Download Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found, by Tavia Gilbert, Rebecca Alexander, Sascha Alper Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tavia Gilbert, Rebecca Alexander, Sascha Alper Narrator: Tavia Gilbert Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Even a darkening world can be brilliantly lit from within.

Born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher Syndrome type III, Rebecca Alexander has been simultaneously losing both her sight and hearing since she was a child and was told that she would likely be completely blind and deaf by age thirty. Then, at eighteen, a fall from a window left her athletic body completely shattered.

None of us know what we would do in the face of such devastation. What Rebecca did was rise to every challenge she faced. She was losing her vision and hearing and her body was broken, but she refused to lose her drive, her zest for life and—maybe most importantly—her sense of humor. Now, at thirty-five, with only a sliver of sight and significantly deteriorated hearing, she is a psychotherapist with two masters’ degrees from Columbia University and an athlete who teaches spin classes and regularly competes in extreme endurance races. She greets every day as if it were a gift, with boundless energy, innate curiosity, and a strength of spirit that have led her to places we can’t imagine.

In Not Fade Away, Rebecca tells her extraordinary story, by turns harrowing, funny, and inspiring. She meditates on what she has lost—from the sound of a whisper to seeing a sky full of stars—and what she has found in return—an exquisite sense of intimacy with those she is closest to, a love of silence, a profound gratitude for everything she still has, and a joy in simple pleasures that most of us forget to notice.

Not Fade Away is both a memoir of the senses and a unique look at the obstacles we all face—physical, psychological, and philosophical—exploring the extraordinary powers of memory, love, and perseverance. It is a gripping story, an offering of hope and motivation, and an exquisite reminder to live each day to its fullest.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “There is a saying that goes ‘you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.’ Rebecca Alexander’s indomitable spirit spills out onto the pages of this incredible memoir. She will lift you up...the way she did for me.”

    Hoda Kotb, New York Times bestselling author of Ten Years Later and Emmy Award–winning anchor of Today

  • “In her profoundly inspiring account of life with a disease that is steadily stealing her vision and hearing and has been since childhood, Alexander offers an optimist’s take on how to live with meaning and not succumb to pity or fear…Her ability to find so much to be grateful for after being dealt such an unfair hand challenges those of us with far fewer hardships to treat each day as a gift.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Any reader struggling to support a friend or loved one through a terminal illness or degenerative disorder would do well to read this book. And everyone will benefit from Alexander’s wise and realistic instruction in intentional living, grace, and overcoming obstacles great and small.”


  • “One woman’s story of gradually losing her sight and hearing…With honesty and compassion, she details the slow, steady progression of her disease even as she tried to hide her disabilities from her friends, boyfriends, and coworkers…As she steadily accepted her fate, Alexander emphasized the importance of embracing the here and now, of being present and grateful for the gift of life, in whatever shape it might take. An honest and eloquent look at life from someone who has lost two of her senses.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Tavia Gilbert expresses the frustration and courage shared in Rebecca Alexander’s motivational memoir…Gilbert’s voice captures Alexander’s determination to persevere in her own life and to inspire listeners with the minor and major challenges she overcomes daily. By changing her tone to complement each emotional moment, Gilbert imbues this inspirational story with the same drive its author demonstrates as she rises to every challenge and cherishes every day as a gift in which she can use her story to help others.”


  • “Her eyes and ears may be declining, but Rebecca’s sense of self is sharply focused and profoundly tuned. By sharing her life, she has enriched mine and will yours, too. I love this woman.”

    Meredith Vieira, journalist and TV host

  • “A remarkable story of resilience and heart, Not Fade Away follows Rebecca Alexander as she must navigate the world cursed with a rare genetic disorder that will one day rob her of both sight and hearing. Bereft of self-pity, funny, and bursting with honesty, Not Fade Away will get its hooks in you. I promise that by the end of her story, you will fall just as in love with Rebecca as I have.”

    Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, September 2014
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