Today we’re excited to welcome author Maureen Seaberg to Writer Unboxed! Maureen’s book Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel, co-written by Jason Padgett, is the Spring’s lead title for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It also received a Kirkus Star and is one of Apple’s 20 Best Books for April.
Maureen is an expert synesthesia blogger for Psychology Today—and she herself has several forms of synesthesia. Maureen also recently tested DNA positive for another curious trait—she is a tetrachromat—someone, always a woman, with an extra cone for color perception. She has written for the New York Times; The Daily Beast; The Huffington Post; O, The Oprah Magazine; and ESPN: The Magazine; and she has appeared on MSNBC, PBS, and The Lisa Oz Show on Oprah Radio.
[pullquote]I’m an optimist. I believe some of the greatest stories in our world may be the ones which have not yet been told. Even in our information-rich age, things can fall through the cracks in the deluge. Nothing is “too small” when casting about for stories.[/pullquote]
Maureen discovered Jason through a Google synesthesia alert, became his friend and collaborator, and got him the medical testing that confirmed his gifts. Here’s what Kirkus had to say about this remarkable book:
When Padgett suffered a traumatic brain injury after a violent mugging, his sense of perception was profoundly altered. Overnight, his life as a fun-loving salesman changed into one dominated by unprompted geometric visualizations and the unexpected insights of newfound mathematical brilliance…In addition to seeing crystalline and fractal patterns as part of the properties of objects and spaces around him, he developed a paralyzing fear of being among people and germs…Padgett spent years in isolation, spending all his time investigating the concepts that suddenly held his mind hostage: math and science but also medical theories that might explain his neurological transformation. Based on his research, he suspected he had developed a form of synesthesia—a condition in which sensations are perceived in unusual ways, such as seeing letters or numbers as inseparable from specific colors—as a result of his injury. He was right.
…To put his remarkable story in writing, he partnered with Seaberg, a fellow synesthete who writes about synesthesia for Psychology Today. The result is a beautiful, inspiring and intimate account of Padgett’s struggles and breakthroughs.
An exquisite insider’s look into the mysteries of consciousness.”
The Woman Behind Struck By Genius
Hi everyone! It’s really great to be among fellow writers. I hope you all have a fresh mug of something within reach and a comfy desk chair to sit a little while with me. Thank you, Writer Unboxed, for the chance to be here.
My new nonfiction book, Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel, co-authored with the incredible acquired savant Jason Padgett, debuted this month. It’s about Jason’s journey to embrace becoming a completely different person after suffering a brain injury in a mugging in Tacoma in 2002. Before the beating, he was a mullet-sporting party dude. Now he has more in common with Einstein. He understands complex math and physics he was never previously exposed to as a college dropout. Brain injuries often produce personality [Read more…]