As for Tomorrow
A Book by Diana Neutze
I met Diana Neutze when her publicist wrote me. He found my website and wanted me to read and review her book.
Job changes and apartment moves kept getting in the way. But eventually the book turned up again. I'm pleased to list it on my website.
New Zealander Diana Neutze was in her late 20s, living in London with her husband and young son, when she discovered that she had multiple sclerosis. More than three decades later, wheelchair-bound and largely confined to her Christchurch home, she has told her remarkable story. Fiercely independent and passionately determined, she has fought the illness with every psychological and physical weapon in her armory. As For Tomorrow, I Cannot Say is a tribute to the power of the human spirit.
Born and educated in Christchurch, Diana Neutze has a PhD in English and was for many years a tutor at the University of Canterbury. She is the co-author of Design for a Century: A History of the School of engineering, University of Canterbury 1887-1987. Her poetry has appeared in Australian, American and New Zealand journals and her collection of poems, Unwinding the Labyrinth, was published in 1997.
What Others Have Said
"I have written this, more than 40,000 words, with one finger in just over a month. It has flowed out of me so fast, I can only conclude that I needed to tell my story."
"It's difficult to write of your own misfortunes without self-pity. It's also difficult to live with long illness without becoming self-centered. Diana Neutze's autobiography of multiple sclerosis, though, shows that both are possible. Neutze is a New Zealand poet and historian, who contracted MS in her 20s but who managed to teach at university, publish several books and travel overseas, in spite of continually having to adjust to physical degeneration. Given the unforgiving nature of her disease, Neutze's achievements
show admirable strength of character, but read her book, and you'll quickly realize that, even better, her outlook is suffused with humor (often directed at her predicament), and an abiding interest in other people. This humility lifts Neutze's book from being a mere chronicle of an illness, into a manifesto of spunk. As a chronicle, it is successful enough. Indeed, it illuminates the inner and outer lives of the multiple sclerosis victim with sensitivity and perception. Reading it, I felt privileged to be admitted to her private world, and grateful for her insights into life with a
severe disability. It is attractively written, witty, interesting, and sprinkled with poetry--which makes a successful book by anyone's standards. But the best thing about this little book is that "victim" isn't part of Neutze's vocabulary. By the time you've finished it, you won't be surprised to learn that the manuscript was typed with only one finger in a single month!"
"This book is a revelation and an inspiration. Also, it's often very funny. And that's not what you'd expect from a book detailing the ever-evolving effects of a terrible disease--multiple sclerosis. As For Tomorrow, I Cannot Say deserves to remain in print forever, as a classic resource. It's a revelation, because Diana Neutze describes her life so frankly. Her style is colorful, individual and crystal clear.
"Diana's story of the rampaging journey of multiple sclerosis, during which she taught, tutored, and fought her illness with every weapon in her spirit, is a story of courage, determination and extraordinary creativity. It is also a literary story, written in clear, lucid prose, with poetical insights, and humor."
"Reading this book was a little like being carried along by some unknown force.…In it Diana Neutze raises many of the issues with which people who have a chronic illness must wrestle. Loss of personhood; her dealings with the medical profession; the ways in which she had to modify her living; the response of those around her to her condition; the strategies and solutions that she used to overcome her problems; the desperate loneliness of her condition; her sources of enrichment; and the glorious ‘highs' she experienced
during her remissions are all clearly articulated in this wonderful piece of writing."
As for Tomorrow I Cannot Say: 33 Years with Multiple Sclerosis can be purchased from Amazon.com.
Multiple Sclerosis Pages On
This page created: