Book Launch – Identity Theft: Rediscovering Ourselves After Stroke

April 30th, 2019 - 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Humanities Center - Levinthal Hall 424 Santa Teresa St.
Stanford, CA 94305


An inspirational story for anyone struggling with their sense of self following injury, Debra Meyerson’s emotionally powerful journey of rebuilding and redefining her identity after suffering a debilitating stroke seeks to let survivors know that they’re not alone.

In 2010, Debra Meyerson, a Stanford University professor at the school of Education and co-director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, suffered a severe stroke in which she lost all speech and was paralyzed on her right side. Identity Theft centers on Debra’s experience: her stroke, her extraordinary efforts to recover, and her journey to redefine herself. She draws on her skills as a social scientist and conversations with dozens of fellow survivors­, family members, friends, colleagues, therapists, and doctors to paint a new picture of the emotional journey through the identity-based challenges born from stroke and other accidents and illnesses that rob people of important capabilities. She shares amazing personal stories and uses them to illustrate lessons we can all learn from. She addresses these important questions:

  • Who are you after a stroke? How do I define myself in the face of more limited abilities?
  • How do you grieve the loss of you? What is really important to me?
  • Who do you become during your recovery? How do I fit in?

This is not a how-to book for recovery, nor will it tell you what you’ll experience or how you should deal with the loss of ability, but it’s a book full of hope for stroke survivors. It gives them and their support network a broad picture of what might lie ahead. And it explores some critical questions that, in the more prevalent focus on physical recovery, are all too often overlooked in the effort to help people who have lost capabilities from stroke or otherwise.


  • 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm - Pre-Reception
  • 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm - Program
  • 6:30 pm - 7:00 pm - Q&A
  • 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm - Book Signing and Post-Reception


  • Debra Meyerson - Author of Identity Theft: Rediscovering Ourselves After Stroke, Stanford University professor at the school of Education and and former co-director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
  • Rob Reich - Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, Director of Stanford's McCoy Center for Ethics in Society, and co-director of Stanford's Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society