“Out With It”
Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice
By Katherine Preston
Imagine you’re a vivacious, opinionated, highly intelligent and gregarious young person with so much you want to say, yet you have trouble speaking your own name out loud.
Katherine Preston developed a profound stutter at the age of 7. As a young girl living in England, trapped inside her head for years, she relied on tricks in her speech to mask her affliction and denied that there was anything wrong. But hiding her stutter wasn’t always easy, and all of her attempts to overcome it eventually failed. When a humiliating experience at age 24 left Katherine sobbing alone in the ladies’ room, she made an impulsive and life-changing decision: to leave her home in London and spend a year traveling around America meeting hundreds of stutterers, speech therapists, and researchers in an attempt to understand the cause of stuttering. Shedding light on an ancient condition that affects approximately 4 million people in the U.S. and 60 million people worldwide, she interviewed celebrities like Emily Blunt, Michael Palin, and Jack Welch, as well as writers, musicians, social workers, psychologists and financiers—men and women from all walks of life who have also battled difficulties with speech. What began as a vague search for a cure became a journey that in the end debunked the misconceptions shrouding the condition, and a love story that transformed her conception of what it means to be normal. OUT WITH IT: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice is the culmination of this research combined with Katherine Preston’s deeply moving and empowering personal story.
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OUT WITH IT is both the story of Katherine’s journey to find her voice, as well as a comprehensive profile of a curious condition, going far beyond the mostly false perceptions that movies and television like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The King’s Speech have provided. A heartwarming memoir and a journalistic feat, OUT WITH IT is more than a chronicle of one of the most prevalent speech problems in the world; it’s a story about understanding yourself, and learning to embrace the voice within.
About the Author
Katherine Preston lives in Brooklyn as a writer and public speaker. She is the Creative Director of ExchangeMyPhone. Find out more at www.KatherinePreston.com