Wash. Post Style Section on Hillenbrand

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by healing, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. healing

    healing New Member

    Hope no one is going into Hillenbrand overload....

    After 'Seabiscuit,' A Winning Week In Washington

    By Roxanne Roberts
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, July 28, 2003; Page C01

    Talk about an amazing ride. "I couldn't have done it without the horse," said Laura Hillenbrand. She may not have been covered in roses, but the author of the best-selling book "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" was in the winner's circle this week. "It's been harried and exhausting . . . and wonderful," she said.

    On Monday, Hillenbrand and longtime love Borden Flanagan were at the White House for a screening of the movie based on her book with President Bush, Laura Bush, actors Tobey Maguire and Bill Macy, and DreamWorks honchos Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg. Friday, "Seabiscuit" opened nationwide to glowing reviews and predictions of Oscar nominations. Yesterday, Hillenbrand was honored at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel downtown for her work on behalf of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

    "The White House definitely tops everything," said Hillenbrand, who lives here in Washington. "We had the night of our lives." The evening included a visit to the Oval Office and Laura Bush (a fan of the book) serving Hillenbrand a special treat: "At the end of the movie, the first lady brought me cookies." In the shape of a horse, no less.

    The huge and unexpected success of the book -- "Seabiscuit" has sold 3 million copies since it was published in 2001 -- has thrust the 36-year-old Hillenbrand into the spotlight both as a writer and as the human face of CFS. She's battled the disorder for 16 years, a debilitating struggle she chronicled earlier this month in the New Yorker to change the public perception. CFS has been largely attributed to mental illness, dismissed as nonexistent or as a refuge of Yuppie slackers. "Being derided was harder than the illness itself," she said.

    In 1996, after years of writing about racing, Hillenbrand became obsessed with the story of an injured jockey named Red Pollard and an overlooked horse named Seabiscuit. "I felt I understood exactly all the losses in this story," she said. "I identified with everyone in it."

    It took her four years to write the book around severe bouts of CFS; she was too sick to go on a book tour or attend the out-of-town premiere of the movie. Yesterday she was carefully conserving her energy for the 90-minute "Meet the Author" tea. "Our guest of honor is working from a limited battery pack," explained Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Association President Kim Kenney. But Hillenbrand rallied in the homestretch and felt well enough to answer questions and sign a few books.

    Guests at the tea included WAMU-FM's Diane Rehm, Centers for Disease Control researcher William Reeves, CFS lobbyist Tom Sheridan, actress Mary McDonough and CFS research benefactors.

    Next? Rest, and then another book. "It's not about a horse, but it's a good story," promised Hillenbrand. A sure bet, as they say at the track.

  2. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    My husband and I saw the movie yesterday and we loved it! The acting was excellent, the script was excellent and it was a winner! I love Tobey Maguire, but to me, Jeff Bridges definitely deserves an Oscar! He did a fabulous job! I can't believe the author wrote this while she was battling CFS. I urge all of you to see this movie! Now I want to read the book.

  3. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    Tonight at dinner my mom pointed out this article in the Post. My day has been a bit backward, reading the morning paper in the evening!

    I also hope to see the movie and read the book. I think it is great that she is getting such good exposure for CFIDS and our cause!

  4. Bellesmom

    Bellesmom New Member

    I urge any of you who are able to get around to make the effort. This movie is just all about having a 2nd chance in life and doing the impossible.

    I am so glad to be able to leave the house so I could see this. I am going to get the book now. It is a wonderful story.

    Just had to put my 2 cents worth in - so glad I've been taking magnesium so I could even leave the house!!! It seems to have made a great difference in my life - so far.

  5. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    I've been wondering how Hillenbrand is doing now and what she's been up to.

    and thanks also to those who gave them for the movie reviews. Maybe I'll be able to get out to see it sometime.

  6. darlamk

    darlamk New Member

    on our way home from our vacation. It is really good - about 6 hours long - really makes the trip go fast! We always check out books on tape at Cracker Barrel Restaurants then return them and only get charged $3 for the week. I am hoping to see the film soon....I have to get "healed up" from our camping vacation. There's always a price to pay for the extra activity but it was good to get back to nature!
    Take Care,
  7. healing

    healing New Member

    in the July 7 issue of The New Yorker magazine. You can probably find a copy at your library. It's long -- otherwise, I'd reproduce it here. But it's largely about her experience with CFS.