February 4, 2008
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a translation of the French memoir by journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby. It describes what his life is like after suffering a massive stroke that left him with a condition called Locked-In syndrome, where his whole body was left paralyzed. He only had use of his left eye.
The entire book was written by Bauby blinking his left eyelid. The book took about 200,000 blinks to write and each word took approximately two minutes. The book chronicles everyday events and what they are like for a person with locked-in syndrome. These events include playing at the beach with his family, getting a bath, and meeting visitors. The book was published in March, 1997. It received excellent reviews and sold 150,000 copies in the first week.