Christmas Posting Dates
Keeper: Living with Nancy

Keeper: Living with Nancy

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Andrea Gillies

Currently unavailable
We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist
OR try AbeBooks who may have this title (opens in new window)

Try AbeBooks
  • Publisher: Short Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 283 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 214mm x 26mm | 358g
  • Publication date: 7 May 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1906021651
  • ISBN 13: 9781906021658
  • Sales rank: 299,376

Product description

Five years ago, Andrea Gillies-- writer, wife, and mother of three--seeing that her husband's parents were struggling to cope, invited them to move in. She and her newly extended family relocated to a big Victorian house on a remote, windswept peninsula in the far north of Scotland, leaving behind their friends and all that was familiar; hoping to find a new life, and new inspiration for work. Her mother-in-law Nancy was in the middle stages of Alzheimer's Disease, and "Keeper" charts her journey into dementia, its impact on her personality and her family, and the author's researches into what dementia is. As the grip of her disease tightens, Nancy's grasp on everything we think of as ordinary unravels before our eyes. Diary entries and accounts of conversations with Nancy track the slow unravelling. The journey is marked by frustration, isolation, exhaustion, and unexpected black comedy. For the author, who knew little about dementia at the outset, the learning curve was steeper than she could have imagined. The most pernicious quality of Alzheimer's, Gillies suggests, is that the loss of memory is, in effect, the loss of one's "self, " and Alzheimer's, because it robs us of our intrinsic self-knowledge, our ability to connect with others, and our capacity for self-expression, is perhaps the most terrible and most dehumanizing illness. Moreover, as Gillies reminds us, the effects of Alzheimer's are far-reaching, impacting the lives of caregivers and their loved ones in every way imaginable."Keeper" is a fiercely honest "glimpse into the dementia abyss"--an endlessly engrossing meditation on memory and the mind, on family, and on a society that is largely indifferent to the far-reaching ravages of this baffling disease. "From the Hardcover edition."

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Customer reviews

By The Orwell Prize 26 May 2010 5

'In this account of caring for her mother-in-law, Andrea Gillies avoids all the pitfalls of the misery memoir. It's a vivid, honest, perceptive first hand report but more than that, an exploration of the role of memory in identity. At times, shocking, funny, informative and provocative, it is undoubtedly a compelling read. Never depressing yet with challenging insights into old age and senility, it raises sharp questions about the caring for those growing numbers who can no longer be independent. It is a profound contemplation through science, political critique and deeply felt emotion of one of the looming problems of the 21st Century.'

The Orwell Prize is Britain's most prestigious prize for political writing. The Book Prize judges for 2010 were Jonathan Heawood (director, English PEN), Andrew Holgate (literary editor, Sunday Times) and Francine Stock (writer and broadcaster).

Review quote

"Forthright, smartly researched, and warmly recounted...Gillies writes with a novelist's eye for detail, and her unflinching rendering of Nancy's excruciating loss of self is skillfully and tenderly drawn...An invaluable resource." - "Publishers Weekly" (starred review) "With an economy of expression, an eye for detail and a storyteller's knack for dialogue, Gillies charts Nancy's terrible course from doddering to vicious and her own decline into caregiver dementia...An unvarnished cautionary tale." --"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) "The key to Gillies' personal strength resides in the numerous literary and philosophical observations she frequently quotes and from which she draws inspiration in this awesome chronicle." --"Booklist "(starred review) Praise from Abroad for KEEPER "This is one of the most moving and important books that I have read on Alzheimer's." -- John Bayley, Author of "Elgy for Iris" "Overflows with history, literature...[a] co