“Home is as old as one’s skin but as elusive as an object seen through the wrong end of a telescope.” It is this sense of a view, skewed, intangible, which echoes throughout Karen Lazar’s Hemispheres.
Waking in hospital after a post-operative stroke, she finds one side of her body paralysed and her world knocked out of kilter. Spatial, perceptual and subjective changes force her to view her new life in facets. The fragmented view is made apparent by means of a triptych of clusters that chart Karen’s experience from Metamorphosis, through Rehabilitation and Adaptation.
Karen Lazar is an English educator at the Wits School of Education. Her MA and PhD, both from Wits, are in South African gender studies. This is Karen’s first volume of (first person) creative non-fiction. Karen had a stroke in 2001, from which she has partially recovered.
“A filigree of finely-crafted pieces, Hemispheres narrates the journey of re- composing life, joy and love from a body made alien through stroke. Wry, ironic, comic, joyous, desolate, celebratory, surreal, the mosaic of text reconfigures love from loss; each subtle fragment a tessera against time.”
“A book that pulses with quiet courage and celebrates it in others.”
“Lazar’s collection gives hope and illumination about how to cope with the ‘thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to’. The reader is left with an enormous respect for a Lazar’s literary skill and her inordinate courage.” –
“Hemispheres is her examination of that process [of re-evaluation], and indisputable proof that Lazar’s brain, if not her body, is able to answer every command she makes of it as a writer.”