In the News

May 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Athens News: Author Talks About Love in Terms of Writing, Language

The  Athens News wrote April 14 about Diane Ackerman’s dual roles: full-time author and full-time caregiver to her husband of 34 years—and their journey from a stroke that deprived him of language to the day he found the words to express his love and began 100 days of nicknames for her, including “lovely ampersand of the morning.”

Matthew Lardner reported om Ackerman’s advice for aspiring writers as part of Ohio University’s Spring Literary Festival, sponsored by the Department of English Language and Literature in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Ackerman’s husband, author Paul West, suffered a stroke in 2004 following 34 years of marriage. The couple met at Penn State University, where West was a professor and Ackerman was an undergrad.

“On our first real date, I came over for drinks and stayed for 42 years.” Ackerman recalled during her talk in the Walter Hall Rotunda. (She also gave a reading Friday evening in Baker Center Theatre.)

Their shared love of each other and of words stoked nuptial bliss, but West’s stroke left him with aphasia, a disorder that affects language abilities.

“How do you manage communication when your loved one has lost his language,” Ackerman asked.

Read Lardner’s article: “Renowned author talks writing, personal tragedy at OU literary fest.”

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