The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly (4th Estate Matchbook Classics)

Jean-Dominique Bauby

One of the most remarkable memoirs ever written.

One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics’ series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French Elle and the father of two young children, suffered a massive stroke and found himself paralysed and speechless. But his mind remained as active and alert as it had ever been.

Using his only functioning muscle – his left eyelid – he was determined to tell his remarkable story, painstakingly spelling it out letter by letter.

The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly records Bauby’s lonely existence but also the ability to invent a life for oneself in the most appalling of circumstances. It one of the most extraordinary books about the triumph of the human spirit ever written.

Reviews of The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly (4th Estate Matchbook Classics)

    • ‘The most remarkable memoir of our time.’ Cynthia Ozick
    • ‘Read this book and fall back in love with life.’ Edmund White
    • ‘A staggering piece of work. It represents an almost inconceivable act of generosity, the gift of the mind and the spirit for which writing was designed.’ A. L. Kennedy
    • ‘One of the great books of the century.’ Financial Times
    • ‘Everyone in the country should own at least one copy.’ Guardian
    • ‘We listen, because what he has to say goes to the core of what it means to be human.’ Robert McCrum, Observer
    • ‘The most extraordinary book of the year.’ Daily Telegraph
    • ‘Life-enhancing and devastating in equal measure – everyone should read it.’ Gloss magazine