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  • What My Bones Know

  • A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma
  • Written by: Stephanie Foo
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Foo
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (345 ratings)

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What My Bones Know

Written by: Stephanie Foo
Narrated by: Stephanie Foo
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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER •

A searing memoir of reckoning and healing by acclaimed journalist Stephanie Foo, investigating the little-understood science behind complex PTSD and how it has shaped her life

“Achingly exquisite . . . providing real hope for those who long to heal.”—Lori Gottlieb,
New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, NPR, Mashable, She Reads, Publishers Weekly

By age thirty, Stephanie Foo was successful on paper: She had her dream job as an award-winning radio producer at This American Life and a loving boyfriend. But behind her office door, she was having panic attacks and sobbing at her desk every morning. After years of questioning what was wrong with herself, she was diagnosed with complex PTSD—a condition that occurs when trauma happens continuously, over the course of years.

Both of Foo’s parents abandoned her when she was a teenager, after years of physical and verbal abuse and neglect. She thought she’d moved on, but her new diagnosis illuminated the way her past continued to threaten her health, relationships, and career. She found limited resources to help her, so Foo set out to heal herself, and to map her experiences onto the scarce literature about C-PTSD.

In this deeply personal and thoroughly researched account, Foo interviews scientists and psychologists and tries a variety of innovative therapies. She returns to her hometown of San Jose, California, to investigate the effects of immigrant trauma on the community, and she uncovers family secrets in the country of her birth, Malaysia, to learn how trauma can be inherited through generations. Ultimately, she discovers that you don’t move on from trauma—but you can learn to move with it.

Powerful, enlightening, and hopeful, What My Bones Know is a brave narrative that reckons with the hold of the past over the present, the mind over the body—and examines one woman’s ability to reclaim agency from her trauma.

©2022 Stephanie Foo (P)2022 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Absorbing . . . a reckoning, and Foo approaches it with candor and rigor . . . profoundly affecting.”The New York Times

“Foo’s happy ending is nothing short of deliverance—rich and joyful and full of care the child was denied. . . . Possibility still glows around the edges of her sight.”USA Today

“An unflinching reminder of the hidden struggles many face, told with the keen eye of a researcher and the brutality of a documentarian.”—NPR

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What listeners say about What My Bones Know

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Amazing

I sobbed with feeling fully seen and understood. Stephanie Foo’s experience with cptsd helped me to better understand myself, to give myself permission to not be perfect, and gave me hope.

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Deeply moving

I too have CPTSD and cannot put into words how amazing, articulate, and well-rounded this novel was! I’ve known about my own CPTSD for at least 15 years and have have done a lot of work. This book shed knowledge on areas that I wouldn’t have thought of, and has helped me grow and learn even more. Thank you so much Stephanie, so well done!I’m so grateful you were brave enough to share your journey.

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Utterly fantastic and life changing

This is one of the best stories of healing I’ve ever read or listened to. I will be getting extra copies to give to friends and students who need it

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Such a good read for CPTSD

I took away so many great tools from her incredibly raw and vulnerable life and how she became who she is today. Inter generational trauma was covered very well which needs to be talked about on a regular basis. A must read for anyone.

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Wow.

This book is a gift to humanity. Thank you Stephanie Foo. You have helped so many by writing and sharing your story. Thank you thank you thank you.

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hard but important read

a life changing read, helping me to stop running from myself and the past.

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Must read!

This book helps shed light on the complex issue of trauma, and the long lasting, often inter generational, impacts it often has. Not only did it help me gain insight to my own behaviours, but helped me be more empathetic to others. I think it’s a must read, even if you don’t feel you have trauma, someone in your life does.

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Outstanding

Beautifully written, beautifully narrated. Such an easy book to digest on such a difficult subject. Offers so many resources for the reader/listener to seek out. Heartbreaking, yet so hopeful. As a psychotherapist I recommend this to my own clients.

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I just listened to my whole life.

This book has made me look at my abuse. The only difference between myself and Stephanie is, I didn’t express any emotions. Now I am going through them all.

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Really relatable to people with CPTSD

This was such a well written, relatable memoir of someone’s real story and grapple with complex trauma. Can really relate.

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