“An unusual and strikingly beautiful piece of memory work.” ―John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead
Clay Byars was recovering at home from a near-fatal car crash when he suffered a massive stroke. He was just eighteen years old. He awoke, back in the hospital, and was told he would be paralyzed from the eyes down for the rest of his life.
Determined to defy the odds, Clay quickly and miraculously began to recover his mobility but discovered just how different his life would be―a disparity embodied by his identical twin brother, Will. As Will went on to graduate from college, marry, and start a family, Clay carved out a unique existence, doing the seemingly impossible by living on his own on a remote farm in Alabama.
With haunting clarity and heartrending honesty, Will & I tells the unlikely story of Clay’s life and his coping mechanisms, including weekly singing lessons that not only teach him to use his voice but remind him of his will to exist. In this singular and striking meditation on vulnerability and vitality, we’re invited to see how Clay sees the world―and how the world sees him―as he bravely challenges himself and his abilities at every turn.
Clay Byars attended the Sewanee School of Letters in Tennessee and is an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. He lives with his two dogs on a farm outside Birmingham, Alabama.
Stay up to date with the latest from FSG and FSG Originals