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Still Alice by Lisa Genova
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Still Alice (original 2007; edition 2009)

by Lisa Genova

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,3353561,142 (4.23)337
Member:Brenda63
Title:Still Alice
Authors:Lisa Genova
Info:Pocket Books (2009), Edition: 1st Thus., Paperback, 292 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Still Alice by Lisa Genova (2007)

  1. 10
    Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Unlike the psychologically suspenseful mystery Turn of Mind, Still Alice is mainstream fiction. Despite differences in plot, genre, and feel, both sensitively portray the disorientation and disintegrating memory of Alzheimer's patients.… (more)
  2. 10
    Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me by Sarah Leavitt (TransatlanticAgency)
  3. 10
    25 Months: A Memoir by Linda McK. Stewart (meggyweg)
  4. 10
    Rough Music by Patrick Gale (LynnB)
  5. 00
    Still Time: A Novel by Jean Hegland (KayCliff)
  6. 00
    Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey (Deelightful)
  7. 00
    Lost: A Novel by Alice Lichtenstein (dara85)
  8. 00
    When It Gets Dark: An Enlightened Reflection on Life with Alzheimer's by Thomas DeBaggio (Mareofthesea)
  9. 11
    The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books deal with Alzheimer's Disease in a compassionate way.
  10. 00
    The Forgetting: Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic by David Shenk (kathrynnd)
  11. 00
    Measure of the Heart: A Father's Alzheimer's, A Daughter's Return by Mary Ellen Geist (Mareofthesea)
  12. 01
    Kalila by Rosemary Nixon (ShelfMonkey)
  13. 02
    The Marriage Plot: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (Deesirings)
    Deesirings: Both these books offer poignant descriptions of being within a mind-altering disease.
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» See also 337 mentions

English (340)  Dutch (8)  Finnish (3)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All (355)
Showing 1-5 of 340 (next | show all)
Written by a neuroscientist. this is a fictitious case-history of an early-onset Alzheimer's patient, highly intelligent (initially) and able to express the patient's experience and feelings. ( )
  KayCliff | Jul 17, 2017 |
I was listening to the radio earlier this week and heard them discussing the movie version of Still Alice, starring Julianne Moore. It sounded interesting, so I started reading it on Thursday, and finished it while at the gym today. The writing was fantastic, the story was interesting and moving, and the small world Ms. Genova created took me in from the first page.

Still Alice tells the story of a cognitive psychology Harvard professor who, at age 51, is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. She has a professor husband and three grown children, and is forced to figure out how she is going to handle this diagnosis. The book unfolds month by month, from before the diagnosis, through telling the family and as the disease progresses. What makes the story different are two things: first, that it addresses early-onset Alzheimer’s (as opposed to Alzheimer’s affecting people in their 80s), and second, that it is told from the perspective of the person with the diagnosis, not the caregiver.

The book is devastating, but not so sorrowful that I found myself depressed by reading it. I really cared about Alice and her family. In fact, I cared so much for her family that I would love to have seen the story told from multiple perspectives (Alice’s husband and her three children, for example), although at that point the book would be 1,000 pages long. But those would be 1,000 pages I’d read. The characters are interesting and flawed – not everyone acts perfectly, and not everyone is wholly sympathetic. By have the main character Alice have multiple children and a spouse, the author can show us how different people might process the diagnosis.

Beyond that, though, and most importantly, Ms. Genova slowly, throughout the book, really shows us what Alice’s experience is as the dementia gets worse and worse. From early on, when she gets lost in a place she’s been daily for dozens of years, to later on, when she can no longer follow the plot of the book she’s reading, the reader gets as much of a sense as possible of what the person with Alzheimer’s experiences.
( )
  ASKelmore | Jul 9, 2017 |
Alzheimer's Patient
early diagnosis coping — to still live normally
___ ___

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world--forever.
  christinejoseph | Jun 20, 2017 |
A very poignant novel that was very difficult to read for so many reasons. I really appreciated the look at this disease through the point of view of the person living with it. It really helped me appreciate how that person feels and looks at the world through an ever changing lens. Certainly worth a read, but hard if this impacts you personally in any way. ( )
  sbenne3 | Jun 18, 2017 |
I almost never empathize with fictional characters, because...well, they're fictional, and I never see them as more than that. "Almost never"...and then I find Lisa Genova's Alice. Fiction, but this is real. As real as it gets.

On NPR, I heard interviews with people associated with Alzheimer research and care talking about both the book and the movie, and about how accurate the portrayals are. So I decided to read for myself. I was unaware when starting the book that Ms. Genova is a neuroscientist. The technical details show that, but the story is amazing. And tragic. I think it no surprise given the subject that Alice changes over the course of the book, so it's not spoiling when I say that we watch her decline, and it is heartbreaking.

If one put this on the "horror" shelf, I think there'd be little argument. It is far more horrifying than any of the banal offerings of traditional horror - the last time a fiction book scared me was when I was nine and read some ghost stories...Stephen King? Dean Koontz? yawn... This? Pick your adjective for scary. Then double it.

Ms. Geneva wrote an excellent book. For the impact and the extracurricular thought, she gets another star.
( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 340 (next | show all)
When looking for a publisher for this story, Genova was often told that it would only appeal to the Alzheimer's community. So, she self-published and self-marketed. Word of mouth spread about the universal appeal of Still Alice, and she gained an agent, a publisher, a top-10 spot on The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestseller lists, and some high praise for her compassionate page-turner. It's well deserved.
 
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Epigraph
Even then, more than a year earlier, there were neurons in her head, not far from her ears, that were being strangled to death, too quietly for her to hear them. Some would argue that things were going so insidiously wrong that the neurons themselves initiated events that would lead to their own destruction. Whether it was molecular murder or cellular suicide, they were unable to warn her of what was happening before they died.
Dedication
In Memory of Angie
For Alena
First words
Alice sat at her desk in their bedroom distracted by the sounds of John racing though each of the rooms on the first floor.
Quotations
Even then, more than a year earlier, there were neurons in her head, not far from her ears, that were being strangled to death, too quietly for her to hear them. Some would argue that things were going so insidiously wrong that the neurons themselves initiated events that would lead to their own destruction. Whether it was molecular murder or cellular suicide, they were unable to warn her of what was happening before they died.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Do not combine the movie with the book
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0595440096, Paperback)

"Powerful, insightful, tragic, inspirational…and all too true." Alireza Atri, Massachusetts General Hospital Neurologist

“Readers…are artfully and realistically led through…a window into what to expect, highlighting the importance of allowing the person with the disease to remain a vibrant and contributing member of the community…" Peter Reed, PhD, Director of Programs, National Alzheimer's Association

“With grace and compassion, Lisa Genova writes about the enormous white emptiness created by Alzheimer’s in the mind of the still-too-young and active Alice. A kind of ominous suspense attends her gathering forgetfulness, and Genova puts us, sympathetically, right inside her plight. Somehow, too, she portrays the family’s response as a loving one, and hints at the other hopeful, helpful response that science will eventually provide.” Mopsy Kennedy, Improper Bostonian

"An intensely intimate portrait of Alzheimer's seasoned with highly accurate and useful information about this insidious and devastating disease." Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, co-author, Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer's Disease

“Her (Alice's) thought patterns are so eerily like my own...amazing. It was like being in my own head and like being in hers.” James Smith, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, age 45

“...something for the world to read.” Jeanne Lee, author of Just Love Me: My Life Turned Upside-Down By Alzheimer’s

“A laser-precise light into the lives of people with dementia and the people who love them.” Carole Mulliken, Co-Founder of DementiaUSA

"A work of pure genius. This is the book that I and many of my colleagues have anxiously awaited. The reader will journey down Dementia Road in a way that only those of us with Dementia have experienced. Until now." Charley Schneider, author of Don't Bury Me, It Ain't Over Yet

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Feeling at the top of her game when she is suddenly diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease, Harvard psychologist Alice Howland struggles to find meaning and purpose in her life as her concept of self gradually slips away.

(summary from another edition)

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