Fashion and Brain Injury?

What do fashion and brain injury have in common? A lot more than you think.

In 2011, Janna Leyde left her job at The Harper’s Bazaar to write “He Never Liked Cake” and teach yoga. After nearly a decade of fighting her way into fashion, she began the more daunting fight into the world of self-publishing. She came out on the other side with a winning memoir that is the first of its kind. Janna narrates her journey from age 14 to present as the daughter of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor. Until now, there have been no other books or resources published from this invaluable perspective. I should know; I am also the daughter of a TBI survivor.

The unique part of this story is that I knew Janna in college, long before she went to grad school at NYU, before The Harper’s Bazaar called, before her “leap and the net will appear” face-plant into authorship. Our paths crossed at our liberal arts college (Wittenberg University), and we’ve had a fatalistic ebb and flow of friendship ever since. Of course I would have read the novel regardless of the topic, but I didn’t expect the impact of the message.


No one has ever made me appreciate my dad’s brain injury—his type of brain injury—until now. My father was injured in 1985 when he fell 3 stories from a building while serving in the Army. We lived in Germany at the time. He was active duty stationed outside of Stuttgart. At the time, I was a precocious 3 year-old fluent in German.

I have only ever known my dad with his disabilities (brain injury, blind in one eye, walks with a cane, some limited motor skills but still the same amazing person inside).

Conversely, Janna’s father suffered TBI as a result of a car accident when she was 14. Unlike my dad, Janna’s father became an entirely different person from his TBI, with little remnant physical injury. Of all the emotions I felt inside this memoir, appreciation and resolution were most significant.

If you love to read, especially the really honest, confessionalist narratives, order “He Never Liked Cake” on Amazon. Once you finish, I graciously ask for your review on Amazon or email to me directly:

Your support of Janna’s book is invaluable to a greater mission: giving families of TBI survivors a viable resource, a voice with which to empathize, a sense of resolution that the embarrassing, frustrating, miserable tests of fate can be resolved and that they will come out on the other side of a new normal.

Jamie Curtis
Owner, White Horizon PR

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