Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
1. By Heather Sellers' own account, her prosopagnosia, or face blindness, caused her constant confusion and anxiety. Yet she did not identify her disability until she was nearly 40. Why did it take her so long?
2. You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know is the story of two discoveries—the discovery of the dysfunctionality of Sellers' family of origin and the discovery of her face blindness. What is the relationship between these two discoveries, as they figure in her life and as they figure thematically in her book?
3. What are some of the strange behaviors Sellers' parents exhibited when she was growing up, and how did she explain them to herself?
4. Sellers recalls that when she presented initial attempts at her memoir at writers' groups and workshops, people responded, How could you live this way? How could you survive this? It's too raw. Is the story she tells "too raw"? Why or why not?
5. Perhaps because of her face blindness, Sellers seems never to see things in a reductive or conventional way, even her mother's paranoid schizophrenia and her father's cross-dressing. What are some of her unexpected insights into their behavior?
6. In what sense is the bizarre childhood Sellers recounts a universal coming-of-age story?
7. Sellers' fiancé, Dave, helps her to unravel the mysteries of her childhood and to grapple with the discovery of her face blindness. Yet their marriage begins to unravel almost before it begins. Why is this?
8. The diagnosis of prosopagnosia comes as an enormous relief to Sellers—at first. Why is she relieved, and why isn't her relief complete and lasting?
9. Dark as Sellers' story is, it contains a surprising amount of humor. Why do you think this is, and what effect does it have on the reader?
10. What does her exceptional experience have to teach us about perspective?
11. How do you think face blindness affected Sellers' development as a writer?
12. In the Afterword, Sellers refers to the "gift of prosopagnosia." In what sense is her face blindness a gift? What can her experience teach the rest of us?
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From the November 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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