Hi, I’m Rosalyn. Welcome! If you’re viewing this website, chances are you have scoliosis, too, or someone you love does. The purpose of this brand new site is to let you know about two things that may be of interest:

Have you ever wanted to tell others what it’s like to have scoliosis and how you’ve learned to cope with it?  I have. That’s why, in my seventies, I’ve written Chrysalis: A Memoir—My Life Beyond the Cage of Scoliosis. You may view and purchase Chrysalis: A Memoir online at Lulu.com. (You can read excerpts below and here.)

No one yet has truly found a “cure” for scoliosis though it’s been around since ancient times. But now there are a number of exercise regimens and treatments that can help minimize deformity and ease discomfort. You’ll find links here to practitioners of Schroth therapy, yoga, Feldenkrais, and Jin Shin Jyutsu, all of which may be valuable aids to improving your - or your loved one’s - quality of life. Eventually, I would love to see this web address become a meeting place where people challenged by scoliosis can feel comfortable exchanging their own stories; sharing with other viewers the treatments or therapies for scoliosis that worked for them, whether for children or adults.

Chrysalis: A Memoir—My Life Beyond the Cage of Scoliosis

“Around this time, I continue looking for clothes that fit my upper body loosely, yet are suitable to wear for work or church. One day, I walk past a Manhattan shop selling maternity clothes and notice a full-cut A-line jumper in the window. Just the thing, I think. Maternity clothing is always made with more room through the chest as well as the abdominal area. Shifting my bag to my shoulder, I step into the shop and begin to browse in the aisle where the jumpers are.

“Suddenly, I hear a female voice saying, ‘I’m going to have to ask you to leave, Madam.’  Curious, I turn to see to whom she is speaking. The woman is staring directly at me. Incredulous, I tell her that I probably will be buying a jumper, but need more time to look at colors. ‘I need you to leave right now.’ I stare back, alarmed at her hostility. ‘I’d like to speak to the manager, please.’ Thinking to settle this quickly, I follow her to the front counter, where a middle-aged man has just put down the phone. He turns and I see coldness in his eyes. ‘This young woman has asked me to leave and I don’t understand why. I have a back problem that makes it necessary for me to buy looser clothing, and I noticed the jumpers that you have in the…’ The manager interrupts me curtly, and in an irritatingly bossy tone says, ‘I want you to leave right now. We sell clothing for young mothers—there’s nothing here you would want.’ I am not only hurt, but angry. ‘It seems to me I should be the judge of that. I want to know why you are ordering me to leave.’  He never does give me a reason, and I turn to go because it’s obvious that nothing is going to change.”


About the Writing of
Chrysalis: A Memoir

The Women and Health class squirmed and giggled, looking furtively at one other. The mere mention of examining their bodies before a mirror called up shame, disgust, guilt, even fear. And then the professor shared what she wanted them to write about: As they looked at their naked selves in the mirror, each of them was to find three things that were strong or beautiful about her body, and come in prepared to tell the class about them.

It was clear that this assignment wasn’t welcomed by the majority of the author’s classmates, nearly all of whom were under twenty-five. Rosalyn was challenged by it, because she was in a different place. She had gone back to school at the age of sixty-seven and had an advanced curvature of the spine called scoliosis that started when she was fourteen. Rosalyn had spent most of her life discovering what parts of her self were strong, and which were beautiful. In fact, she was still learning how to become more than the sum of her physical parts. So, yes, she could look in the mirror and write a report. She could write a book.

Praise for Chrysalis: A Memoir

“Virginia Woolf urged women to tell the truth about the body. Rosalyn Will, in Chrysalis, does this and far, far more. She shows us the grit and determination of how a woman who spent her early childhood during the Great Depression created a life for herself as a writer, while caring for herself and her family. This book is an inspiration to all of us who want to write our lives."

—Louise DeSalvo, Author of
On Moving: A Writer’s Meditation on New Houses, Old Haunts, and Finding Home Again

“With her clear gift for narrative, Rosalyn Will draws us into her story – the heartbreak of childhood; the pleasures of living and breathing and working and raising a family—all while enduring the difficulties of scoliosis. We read with rapt attention as her inner life unfolds and we salute her honesty, grace, and endurance.”

—Meena Alexander, Author of
Fault Lines: A Memoir

At age 42 on exhibit for her untreated scoliosis condition in front of a phalanx of doctors, Rosalyn Will declares to herself that someday she is going to write a book. Lucky for us, at age 74 she has written that memoir. The cage of scoliosis is only one of the many cocoons we watch her struggle with and emerge from. Both in the detail and the breadth of this memoir, we are transfixed and inspired.”

—Nan Bauer-Maglin, co-editor of
Women Confronting Retirement: A Nontraditional Guide and Final Acts: Death, Dying, and the Choices We Make