Any Ordinary Day: Blindsides, Resilience and What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Lifeby Leigh Sales

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The day that turns a life upside down usually starts like any other, but what happens the day after? Dual Walkley Award-winner Leigh Sales investigates how ordinary people endure the unthinkable.

As a journalist, Leigh Sales often encounters people experiencing the worst moments of their lives in the full glare of the media. But one particular string of bad news stories – and a terrifying brush with her own mortality – sent her looking for answers about how vulnerable each of us is to a life-changing event. What are our chances of actually experiencing one? What do we fear most and why? And when the worst does happen, what comes next?

In this wise and layered book, Leigh talks intimately with people who’ve faced the unimaginable, from terrorism to natural disaster to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Expecting broken lives, she instead finds strength, hope, even humour. Leigh brilliantly condenses the cutting-edge research on the way the human brain processes fear and grief, and poses the questions we too often ignore out of awkwardness. Along the way, she offers an unguarded account of her own challenges and what she’s learned about coping with life’s unexpected blows.

Warm, candid and empathetic, this book is about what happens when ordinary people, on ordinary days, are forced to suddenly find the resilience most of us don’t know we have.

About the Author

Leigh Sales is an award-winning journalist and author.

She anchors 7.30 on ABC television. From 2006 to 2008, she was the network's National Security Correspondent and from 2001 to 2005, Washington Correspondent, covering the momentous years after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Leigh won a Walkley award in 2005 for her coverage of issues surrounding Guantanamo Bay and was also nominated for her on-the-ground reporting of Hurricane Katrina.

Her first book, Detainee 002: the Case of David Hicks , was published in 2007 to widespread critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for the 2008 Victorian Premier's Literary Prize and won the 2007 George Munster Award for Independent Journalism. Her second book, On Doubt , was published in 2009 as part of Melbourne University Publishing's 'Little Book on Big Themes' series, which features leading Australian writers including Germaine Greer, David Malouf and Don Watson.

Leigh's writing has appeared in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and The Monthly. She writes a fortnightly blog for the ABC called 'Well-readhead'. Before joining the ABC, Leigh worked for the Nine Network. She has degrees in international relations and journalism.