Books

Early onset Alzheimer’s fictional story, ‘Still Alice’ insightful

New York Times Bestselling author of ‘Still Alice’, Lisa Genova

Forgetting the odd word or where we left our keys is forgivable but what if this persists down a more sinister lane and we start forgetting how to get home or who we met yesterday.

This is what Alice Howland faces when this Harvard professor starts slowly losing her mind. So applauded for her academic prowess, she starts forgetting words mid-sentence during lectures she’s delivered umpteen times.

The spiral is slow and insidious and she at first dismisses the lapses but when she’s unable to find her way home after a routine run, she realises something is seriously wrong.

The prognosis is not good. Alice has early onset Alzheimer’s disease which is cruelly robbing her of the intellect on which she has built her career and persona.

But far from being depressing, the reader is led through Alice’s journey through Alice’s eyes. She has to re-evaluate her relationship with her husband, her three children and where she now stands in this emerging new world.

Still Alice is a moving, insightful read which while it puts fear and dread into those of us forgetting where we put our mobile phone, car keys and reading glasses, gives a gentle landing and the realisation that each day is truly a gift.

JN

Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University.

A fun video clip with her son!

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Lois Nicholls is an Australian Journalist and author of 'Aussie, Actually' - A South African woman's memoir of migrating to Australia. Follow her on Twitter @loisknicholls.