Saturday, February 6, 2010
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Not having read anything blog-worthy recently, I'm plucking one from memory, and after reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova, I was thanking God for still having a memory. Genova, a PhD Neuroscientist, wrote this first novel from the title character's perspective. Alice is an esteemed psychology professor in her early 50s who starts noticing memory deficits. The losses are insidious, small at first (she misplaces her Blackberry), then rapidly gather speed (she gets lost in her own neighborhood). Alice knows what's happening and gets herself to the doctor where she is quickly (unrealistically so) diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. The hook of this book is Genova's narration; the reader experiences the world daily from Alice's perspective. As she gets confused, so do we. A black rug on the floor is a scary hole we cannot cross. A kind stranger is our own daughter. You may ask, why would E.B. want to read something so depressing? For those of you who know me, the answer's obvious :). The truth is that this book will ease your mind about your own middle-age memory deficits. I recommend this book for anyone who is fearful of early-onset Alzheimer's. It will put your mind at ease (at least for the next decade or so!) We may lose our keys, and forget why we walked into a room, but we aren't getting lost in our own neighborhoods. Yet.