Talking about aphasia.
Living with loss of language after stroke

Susie Parr, Sally Byng and Sue Gilpin with Chris Ireland. Department of Clinical Communication Studies, City University, London

This book is about living with aphasia - a language impairment which can result from stroke. Drawing on in-depth interviews with fifty aphasic people, it explores the experience of aphasia from the dramatic onset of stroke and loss of language to the gradual revelation of its long-term consequences. The story is told from the perspective of aphasic people themselves. They describe the impact of aphasia upon their employment, education, leisure activities, finances, personal relationships and identity. They describe their changing needs and how well these have been met by health, social care and other services. They talk about what aphasia means to them, the barriers encountered in everyday life and how they cope. The book offers a unique insight into the struggle of living with aphasia, combining startlingly unusual language with a clear interlinking text.


  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • What is aphasia?
  • 'Is frightened. Is frightened': the early experience of stroke and aphasia
  • 'The thing is - what job?': work, leisure and aphasia
  • 'Can I get a word in edgeways?': family, friends and aphasia
  • 'Lost in the undertow': health, social care and voluntary services for people with aphasia
  • 'Everything seems a secret': information and aphasia
  • 'Doing the inside work': the meaning of aphasia
  • 'They cannot see it so how will they know?': aphasia and disability
  • 'I'm fed up of saying I'm sorry': learning to live with aphasia
  • Appendix 1
  • About the project
  • Further reading.

1997, 160pp
0 335 19936 4 Paperback £13.99
0 335 19937 2 Hardback £50.00


  back to achievements and acclaim

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'This little jewel of a book should be essential reading for all professional and voluntary staff whose work brings them into contact with people with aphasia.'
Therapy Weekly

'Having now read the book three times I can find no adverse comment to make. It is a most interesting, up-to-date account of the experience of people with aphasia and how they can be helped towards recovery. It will surprise me if this book doesn't find its way to shelves of all who work in the interest of people who have survived a stroke.'
Dr Ben Jabuni, Director of service, the Stroke Association - reviewed in the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Newsletter

'What is aphasia actually like for those who have lost language, and those around them? What impact does it have on people's lives? Can the fearful communication gap somehow be bridged? Here is a book which addresses these questions and innumerable other related issues, with the most meticulous research and the most accessible descriptions. Talking About Aphasia will be equally valuable for professionals and patients alike - as well as the families, friends and therapists of those with aphasia.'
Oliver Sacks

'This is an effective way to ensure usually unheard voices get heard.'
The UK Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education

'This is an important book. It is an innovative and pioneering text which will be widely read and highly acclaimed.'

'It is the first book to attempt to convey in the words of a large sample of dysphasics what it feels like to lose the power to communicate and how they have or have not learned to cope.'
The London Review of Books