Teach Us to Sit Still by Tim Parks
A Skeptic's Search for Health and Healing

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Synopsis

Teach Us to Sit Still is the visceral, thought-provoking, and inexplicably entertaining story of how Tim Parks found himself in serious pain, how doctors failed to help, and the quest he took to find his own way out.

Overwhelmed by a crippling condition which nobody could explain or relieve, Parks follows a fruitless journey through the conventional medical system only to find relief in the most unexpected place: a breathing exercise that eventually leads him to take up meditation. This was the very last place Parks anticipated finding answers; he was about as far from New Age as you can get.

As everything that he once held true is called into question, Parks confronts the relationship between his mind and body, the hectic modern world that seems to demand all our focus, and his chosen life as an intellectual and writer. He is drawn to consider the effects of illness on the work of other writers, the role of religion in shaping our sense of self, and the influence of sports and art on our attitudes toward health and well-being. Most of us will fall ill at some point; few will describe that journey with the same verve, insight, and radiant intelligence as Tim Parks. Captivating and inspiring, Teach Us to Sit Still is an intensely personal—and brutally honest—story for our times.

 

About Tim Parks

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TIM PARKS is the author of novels, nonfiction, and essays. He has won the Somerset Maugham, Betty Trask, and Llewellyn Rhys awards and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His works include Destiny, Europa, Dreams of Rivers and Seas, Italian Neighbors, An Italian Education, and A Season with Verona.
 
Published July 3, 2012 by Rodale. 338 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Teach Us to Sit Still

The New York Times

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While I shaved I tensed my jaw, while I read I tensed my throat, while I ate (too fast) I tensed my forehead, while I talked I tensed my shoulders, while I listened I tensed my neck, while I drove I tensed everything.” This passage — much longer without my ellipses — extends over an enti...

Jun 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skep...

The Guardian

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Resident in Italy for over three decades, Tim Parks has had ample opportunity to suffer his name's rendition by Italians.

Jul 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skep...

The Guardian

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Tim Parks, the novelist and essayist, tells us that, for a long time, he suffered from pelvic pain.

Jun 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skep...

The Telegraph

Part of Parks – quite a large part – wants to give a dismissive sneer and walk away.

Jul 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skep...

Suite 101

Learn to be a better you and what better way than to know more about your mind, body and spirit.

Sep 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skep...

The Bookbag

Self-help books are pretty polarising when you think about it.

Aug 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skep...

Express

REACHING the milestone of a half-century of life, Tim Parks is bedevilled by burning pain in his belly, miserably broken nights and nagging anxiety as to the cause.

Jul 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skep...

London Review of Books

‘I had quite a repertoire of pains at this point: a general smouldering tension throughout the abdomen, a sharp jab in the perineum, an electric shock darting down the inside of the thighs, an ache in the small of the back, a shivery twinge in the penis itself.’ He eventually overcame his chronic...

| Read Full Review of Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skep...

The New York Review of Books

He has written fourteen well-received novels, seven works of nonfiction, including books on Italian soccer and Medici Florence, and numerous reviews in the London Review of Books and in these pages;

Sep 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skep...

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