Jim Linnell, Take It Lying Down: Finding My Feet After a Spinal Cord Injury

A hard, honest, and inspiring memoir about learning to walk again after a catastrophic injury.

Take It Lying Down is "a movingly intricate weave--a detailed and poetic chronicle of healing against all odds, an intense love story, a narrative of a young man's journey from Maine to New Mexico and adulthood, and a book of literary inspiration and wisdom . . . this is not a medical book, not a self-help book: it's a literate, occasionally theatrical, surprisingly buoyant, always philosophical and compelling journey through one man's life."―From the Foreword by Len Jenkin

Six months shy of retirement and on a family vacation in Mexico, Jim Linnell steps off the porch of a rented guest house and breaks his neck. He is medevacked to his hometown hospital in Albuquerque and from there to a spinal cord injury hospital in Denver, where he learns he may live the rest of his life as a quadriplegic. How does a person absorb such news?

Jim's injury is incomplete: He has a two-year window for improvement. After three months of rehabilitation at the hospital, he and his wife, Jennifer, return to their home with an armada of equipment for his therapy, a heavy dose of anxiety about how they will manage together, and many unanswerable questions: Will Jim get better? What kind of future will they have? Can they move past denial to accept the possibility that Jim may remain a quadriplegic?

Take It Lying Down portrays a man reclaiming his life from catastrophe--it is a book of exemplary courage.

Jim Linnell is a writer, teacher, and director. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of New Mexico and former Dean of the College of Fine Arts there. He is the author of Walking on Fire: The Shaping Force of Emotion in Writing Drama. His work has been performed in the U.S. and abroad in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel. Linnell helped establish the MFA degree in Dramatic Writing at the University of New Mexico and an annual festival of new plays that now bears his name. He received his doctorate in directing from UC Berkeley. He and his wife live south of Albuquerque next to the Rio Grande; together they have three children and six grandchildren.

Event date: 
Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107