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Download You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Face Blindness, and Forgiveness Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Face Blindness, and Forgiveness Audiobook, by Heather Sellers Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,178 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Heather Sellers Narrator: Karen White Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781455199495
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This is an unusual and uncommonly moving family memoir, with a twist that gives new meaning to hindsight, insight, and forgiveness.

Heather Sellers is face-blind—that is, she has prosopagnosia, a rare neurological condition that prevents her from reliably recognizing people’s faces. Growing up, unaware of the reason for her perpetual confusion and anxiety, she took what cues she could from speech, hairstyle, and gait. But she sometimes kissed a stranger, thinking he was her boyfriend, or failed to recognize even her own father and mother. She feared she must be crazy.

Yet it was her mother who nailed windows shut and covered them with blankets, made her daughter walk on her knees to spare the carpeting, and had her practice secret words to use in the likely event of abduction. Her father went on weeklong “fishing trips” (a.k.a. benders), took in drifters, and wore panty hose and bras under his regular clothes. Heather clung to a barely coherent story of a “normal” childhood in order to survive the one she had.

That fairy tale unraveled two decades later when Heather took the man she would marry home to meet her parents and began to discover the truth about her family and about herself. As she came at last to trust her own perceptions, she learned the gift of perspective: that embracing the past as it is allows us to let it go. She illuminated a deeper truth—that even in the most flawed circumstances, love may be seen and felt.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Heather Sellers is a glorious writer. You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know is an astonishing book.”

    Jane Hamilton, author of A Map of the World and The Book of Ruth

  • “A powerfully moving account of childhood lost and regained.”

    Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper’s Wife

  • “A brilliant memoir that is part love story, part detective work. Having learned to negotiate the territory between what we see, what we think we see, and what we miss, this wonderful writer manages to capture the pain and the joy found in the mysteries of mind and heart. A fascinating, disturbing journey, by turns hilarious and heartbreaking.”

    Abigail Thomas, author of Safekeeping and A Three Dog Life

  • “The new memoir by Heather Sellers is so accomplished…the story it tells is so exotic and yet somehow so familiar, too, and…the writing is so poetic yet never feels forced or fussed-over…The book has just that sort of seamless, fluid, effortless feel. As you read, it’s as if Sellers is right there in the room with you, telling her life story with high good humor, casual eloquence, and piercing insight.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Narrator Karen White does an admirable job giving voice to Sellers’ chaotic life. Such a story—of marriage and divorce, a schizophrenic mother and an alcoholic father, along with Heather’s inability to recognize people’s facial features—could easily be presented in an overdramatic manner. Instead of succumbing to this pitfall, White manages to imbue Sellers’ words with appropriate emotion. Her skillful narration communicates the turmoil that Sellers has endured. Author and narrator will have listeners hanging on every word.”

    AudioFile

  • “As a writer (if not in her messy life), Sellers is confident, a master of her craft. Her memoir is paced like a work of suspenseful fiction, moving back and forth between her childhood and her present-day quest to uncover the truth about herself and her family…Despite the dire subject matter, Sellers’ writing is sprightly, even funny; this is a memoir to be devoured in great chunks. The pleasure of reading it derives both from its graceful style and from its ultimate lesson: that seeing our past for what it really was, and forgiving those involved, frees us up to love them all the more, despite their (and our) limitations.”

    BookPage

  • Oprah’s Book Club Selection, November 2010
  • An Elle Magazine Reader’s Choice for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristen Mccabe | 2/20/2014

    " Great memoir--dysfunctional family plus neurological disorder. I couldn't put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candice | 2/8/2014

    " Amazingly talented author and English professor in Michigan tells her own story of surviving face blindness and a dysfunctional upbringing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolynmora | 2/5/2014

    " Another memoir about someone with a crazy family. But the really fascinating thing is that this woman has face-blindness, which I've heard and read about (Oliver Sacks has it), but she did not know that she had it, didn't even know there was such a thing, until she was in her 40's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 2/3/2014

    " Well-written book. Sad and funny, as well as fascinating. Makes you want to know more about Ms. Sellers and her life with this condition. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia Felice | 1/29/2014

    " Great for face blindness research! The writing is good, too. What a tough childhood, not to mention finally figuring out that she is face blind (well into her 30s.) I would love to know if there are any dogs or other pets in her life. Does she have trouble seeing their faces? It wouldn't be as difficult for her as it is with humans because most animals will greet you as a friend/owner. But what if she had two of the same breed? Could she tell them apart? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kellygirl | 1/29/2014

    " I expected this book to be better than it was. It was an interesting story line (someone that goes through life with face blindness). It was just ok. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rachel | 1/23/2014

    " I had thought the book would focus more on face blindness, but it did not. I did like the writing style or the narrator. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blythe | 1/14/2014

    " Very readable and, of course, wild in parts. Reminded me a bit of "The Three of Us". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristi | 12/21/2013

    " Fascinating, heart-breaking and ultimately inspiring memoir by a woman who suffers from prosopagnosia (the inability to recognize faces). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Batsheva | 12/18/2013

    " Fascinating description of experiening with face-blindness, but overwhelming, oppressive family crazy (real family, really crazy) made it too sad to read without skipping chunks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennie | 11/23/2013

    " Well written but I wasn't expecting the first half to be primarily about her childhood and growing up with her parents - though i suppose it was necessary to get to the part about face blindness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 11/23/2013

    " I learned a lot about face blindness after listening to this book. I heard the author talk about this book on NPR and wanted to learn more about it. She's from West Michigan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 10/18/2013

    " The idea of the book was interesting enough...sadly I just didn't care about anybody in the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill Hinton | 8/26/2013

    " A beautifully-written memoir from a Hope College professor. Funny and smart, and makes me want to pick up her other books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 NerdGirlBlogger | 7/3/2013

    " Have more to say about this book, but I can tell you know that I loved it, and read it in one sitting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 5/14/2013

    " Heather Sellers is quite an inspiration to us all. Her writing style is unlike anything I've ever read and you can't help but feel the emotions she's going through as she explains her experiences with her mother, father, and facial blindness. I definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 5/8/2013

    " Interesting story, but the book was a dull read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jerelle Kraus | 9/28/2012

    " Excellent capturing of emotional states. Some repetitive phrasing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber Brookins | 5/16/2012

    " I learned about this disorder on the Stuff You Should Know podcast, so I thought a memoir about someone with it would be super interesting. It was, but the author is a bit odd. I think the cool thing is to try and determine where the tone of the book originates. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karin | 5/1/2012

    " I tried to read this twice with no success. I felt sorry for Heather, but not really interested in her story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Misty | 2/12/2012

    " ENjoyed the writing style and specificity of the subject. It was a perfectly simple and raw memoir. She covered a transformative time in her life with flashbacks to the relative memories of her past. Insightful in a lot of ways about how we perceive and don't perceive the world we are changing in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 6/12/2011

    " A powerful way to learn about an interesting and very difficult condition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 5/3/2011

    " Never knew about Face Blindness until I read this amazing story. If you liked The GLASS CASTLE,you will like this book. Totally dysfunctional family. How do these people make it? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M. | 4/28/2011

    " I was amazed how compelling this memoir was. I read it because I wanted to know what life would be like for someone with face blindness--I'm glad I did. But I also learned from Sellers' unique, often difficult upbringing with her parents. I like how she came to terms with everything in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 4/16/2011

    " Fascinating - but frustrating too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracie | 4/12/2011

    " I really liked this book. The author writes with a sence of humor so it didn't read like a memior. It jumps back and forth from present to past which took some getting used to. The subject facinates me and it was an enjoyable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolynmora | 4/5/2011

    " Another memoir about someone with a crazy family. But the really fascinating thing is that this woman has face-blindness, which I've heard and read about (Oliver Sacks has it), but she did not know that she had it, didn't even know there was such a thing, until she was in her 40's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sadie | 4/3/2011

    " What a touching and interesting story! The author did a fantastic job of taking the reader deep into the confusion and uncertainty that shaped her life for such a long time. And her descriptions of the ubiquitous Dutch of West Michigan made me a little homesick for Grand Rapids. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cosette | 3/26/2011

    " Neat. 2nd autobiographical book ive read with author having lived in holland, Michigan. Couldn't put it down - couldn't believe it, but couldn't doubt it. Read it in 2 days. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jesse | 3/7/2011

    " Very interesting book about a condition I've never heard of. Quick read - reads like a novel. "

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About the Author
Author Heather Sellers

Heather Sellers is the author of the story collection Georgia under Water and several books on writing. A poet, essayist, and frequent contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine, the Sun, and other publications, she teaches at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

About the Narrator

Karen White is a classically trained actress who has been recording audiobooks since 1999. An Audie Award finalist, she has earned eight AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her reading of The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed was named one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2009.