The Day – Sarah Ruhl talks about a new book, Bell’s paralysy Tuesday


“I think you’re having a stroke. Concerned friends and family have told me this more than once – every time I have Bell’s palsy, an unexplained episode of facial weakness or paralysis. Most people recover from this condition, which typically leaves half of your face in a frozen and / or droopy mask. That I have taken it down twice is remarkably rare – but at least I have recovered both times.

Sarah Ruhl, the famous playwright, essayist / author, Pulitzer double finalist and MacArthur genius, also suffered from Bell’s palsy, just as one of her plays was about to open on Broadway, and she tried hard to “wait” until everything was back to normal.

Except that it has not disappeared.

In “Smile: The Story of a Face”, Ruhl’s new memoir, she wrote a series of autobiographical essays on her ten-year search to find a cure for her situation – while balancing her duties as a mother, wife and artist.

Ruhl will appear on Tuesday for an author / signature talk at the Savoy Bookstore and Cafe in Westerly. Expect laughter, wisdom, angst, and eloquence.

Sarah Ruhl., 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Savoy Bookshop & Café, 10 Canal St., Westerly; $ 5, $ 30 with signed copy of the book;, (401) 213-3901.

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