This powerful new memoir from Marc Hoberman doesn’t let up. Adversity Defeated, like its author, is a certified success. From the very first page, it enthralls, entertains, and keeps readers guessing for the next inopportune time his epilepsy will throw him to the floor, drive him through a toll booth, or rush him to the emergency room.
Adversity Defeated: Turn Your Struggles into Strengths is a wildly important and as-yet undiscovered inspirational memoir about epilepsy and teacher Marc Hoberman’s life.
It begins intimately, introducing us to a young man enamored of celebrities, the school band, and his enigmatic grandfather. We get to know his character before we get to know his illness, making that first seizure at age twelve in his apartment basement, bleeding from his head and falling unconscious to the floor, that much more impactful.
But luckily for us, this story isn’t all pain and struggle. Like your favorite funny uncle, Hoberman tells his tale with genuine humor through the accessible voice of a person you can truly get to understand.
“It’s kind of the dog to [always] shit under the piano, so you don’t have to keep looking around for it in the morning.”
Adversity Defeated describes in detail what being an epileptic is like, reminding us that seizures could happen at any moment—medicine or not. Oftentimes, they are preceded by a period of incoherence, like when Marc is driving down the road with a cousin and, all of a sudden, he’s not making any sense. That’s when he starts losing control, unable to keep his hands on the wheel. Or, years later, when he’s tutoring one of his students online, he feels it coming. He sends over a text that class is postponed, before he descends into an epileptic fit. Later though, when he reads the text, he realizes the student might still be a little confused, because the text had read, “sdlfkdkasfadsfheoikjelk,nn…” Marc has been seizure-free for years, but he knows it can return whenever it wants.
Just as much as this is a manifesto about his own struggles with epilepsy and the importance of overcoming his illness, it is also the singular story of Marc Hoberman the person. It details his experience of his adolescence and teenage years, as he moves away from his home in New York and starts anew in Florida. While it may share the occasionally unrelated tidbit in Marc’s personal history, it still succeeds in its task of showing its readers that Marc is human and that he, like you, doesn’t have to be defined by his illness.
In the end, we are extremely thankful that Marc has shared this book with us. And we know you can be too.
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