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Viral meningoencephalitis, Viral meningoencephalitis memoir, Near-death memoir, Rehab/physio memoir, Working through a condition, Not giving up memoir, Survival memoir

You're Not Dead
The story of a boy
by Jason Garden

You’re Not Dead chronicles its Hero’s travels during his ten-month hospitalization, beginning with his viral meningoencephalitis, and ending with his struggle to regain his life and independence.

Acerbic and illuminating, You’re Not Dead pulls the reader into the Hero’s lived experience, while peeling away the layers of politeness we often use when discussing disability.

The Hero is brutally honest as he writes of his journey through the medical system. He speaks of overwhelming pessimism, of pronouncements from “on high” made with little knowledge of his condition or progress, and of being spoken at, rather than being spoken to.

You’re Not Dead is both devastating and inspiring, highlighting the importance of perseverance in the face of profound adversity.

"Garden’s prose is muscular and biting, capturing the numbing anguish that is the Hero’s general state of being... As it goes on, readers will begin to feel the same creeping horror experienced by the Hero... requiring that readers consider human suffering and the uncertainty that it brings.

This raw tale about a harrowing journey leaves a mark."

- Kirkus Reviews

For over ten years, Jason Garden was a musician in the Canadian independent music scene. Jason was the drummer for All Cut Up (2004 – 2009) and The Twin (2009 to 2012, has performed on ten albums (including The Twin’s Inner Demons), and toured his home Province of Ontario. In 2013, he contracted viral meningoencephalitis. He refuses to give up, though several doctors have told him that he should.


Jason Garden

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