Author Writes to Escape Her Circumstances

Laura Hillenbrand’s newest book, Unbroken, which came out last November, is a fascinating story of the life of an athlete and war hero, Louis Zamperini. Hillenbrand admits her writing is a way for her to escape her circumstances-“It’s my own way of living vicariously”.

Hillenbrand interviewed Zamperini 75 times over the phone in seven years. They never met face to face.  The Washington Post’s Monica Hesse states that “he didn’t know why all of their conversations were over the phone until he read an interview with Hillenbrand and learned about her illness”. Zamperini, a war hero, sent her one of his Purple Hearts stating that she deserved it more than he.

According to Hesse Unbroken is a “meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life. ” When asked to describe in detail, though, what it feels like to live with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Hillenbrand is unable to put into words “the betrayal of her own body”.

Laura Hillenbrand is also the author of the bestselling book Seabiscuit : An American Legend (2001). The movie Seabiscuit was released in 2003 starring Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges. Hillenbrand has had a severe form of ME/CFS since she was 19.

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