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The Museum of Words: a memoir of language,…

The Museum of Words: a memoir of language, writing, and mortality

by Georgia Blain

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This is a profound book, written with wisdom and regret in spare, accessible language. A brilliant read for anyone who writes, let alone anyone close to a dying loved one. Brilliant, touching, sad, real. ( )
  ClareRhoden | Nov 4, 2017 |
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For my mother, Anne, my dear friend Rosie,
and the loves of my life, Andrew and Odessa
First words

I notice the date as I start writing, and realise it is only three months to the day since Georgia's death. It's not a long time by anyone's count. No wonder emotions are still raw.
Looking back, I wish I had paid more attention to it; it was the only clue as to what was going to follow.
During one of these walks, Odessa asked me, 'How fast is the speed of life?'
I will love a book forever if the final pages mark my subconscious.
It wasn't a rapid breakdown, and there is still sometimes a gossamer thread that links her to us.
Language is at the core of our being. The way in which we express ourselves is inextricably linked to who we are and how others see us.
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Prior to this, Georgia's only warning had been a niggling sense that her speech was slightly awry. She ignored it, and on a bright spring day, as she was mowing the lawn, she collapsed on a bed of blossoms, blood frothing at her mouth. Waking up to find herself in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital, she tries to answer questions, but is unable to speak. After the shock of a bleak prognosis and a long, gruelling treatment schedule, she immediately turns to writing to rebuild her language and herself. At the same time, her mother, Anne Deveson, moves into a nursing home with Alzheimer's; weeks earlier, her best friend and mentor had been diagnosed with the same brain tumour. All three of them are writers, with language at the core of their being. The Museum of Words is a meditation on writing, reading, first words and last words, picking up thread after thread as it builds on each story to become a much larger narrative.… (more)

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