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Still Alice

Still Alice

Written by Lisa Genova

Narrated by Lisa Genova


Still Alice

Written by Lisa Genova

Narrated by Lisa Genova

ratings:
4.5/5 (726 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Released:
Jan 6, 2009
ISBN:
9780743581486
Format:
Audiobook

Editor's Note

An emotional debut…

Grab a tissue. This fierce, emotional debut from Genova — who holds a doctorate in neuroscience from Harvard — captures graceful bravery in the face of a devastating disease.

Description


An extraordinary debut novel about an accomplished woman who slowly loses her thoughts and memories to a harrowing disease -- only to discover that each day brings a new way of living and loving

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 of early-onset Alzheimer's disease changes her life.

As the inevitable descent into dementia strips away her sense of self, fiercely independent Alice struggles to live in the moment. While she once placed her worth and identity in her celebrated and respected academic life, now she must reevaluate her relationship with her husband, a respected scientist; her expectations of her children; and her ideas about herself and her place in the world.
At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer's disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Ordinary People.
Released:
Jan 6, 2009
ISBN:
9780743581486
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, Inside the O’Briens, and Remember. Still Alice was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, and Kristen Stewart. Lisa graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide speaking about the neurological diseases she writes about and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, Today, PBS NewsHour, CNN, and NPR. Her TED talk, What You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer's, has been viewed over 2 million times.  



Reviews

What people think about Still Alice

4.5
726 ratings / 330 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    This is a heart-wrenching, poignant story of one woman's struggle with the early onset of Alzheimer's disease. Told in the third person, the story focuses on Alice's point of view as she tries to come to terms with the diagnosis and her rapid loss of cognitive skills. It is impossible not to feel deep, sincere sympathy for Alice. She is such a wonderful character - courageous, intelligent, warm-hearted and, at all times, dignified. The speech she gives at the Dementia Care Conference had me in tears. Beautifully written, Alice's journey is a hard one to follow as she grapples with feelings of confusion, fear, anger, hopelessness and frustration, but I'm so very glad I travelled with her even though in the end, it was hard to let her go.
  • (4/5)
    Told from Alice's point of view, we learn about her symptoms leading up to a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. This is a tragic diagnosis for anyone, and for a linguistics professor at Harvard, not being able to find the right words, or eventually even to read, is brutal. We see what happens to Alice over two years, and learn what a devastating disease this is.
  • (4/5)
    Alice Howland is a fifty-year-old Harvard professor who is starting to forget things. She chalks it up to being really busy, swamped with giving lectures and traveling to conferences. The memory infractions keep getting more bothersome, so Alice's doctor puts her through various tests before diagnosing her with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. This, of course, throws Alice's life off course and turns everything upside down. I absolutely love that, despite becoming more and more unreliable, Alice is the first person narrator throughout the whole story. It's so interesting to be inside her head as her brain deteriorates. My maternal grandmother had Alzheimer's and hallucinated towards the end of her life, and I wanted so badly to know exactly what was going through her mind. Since she has a PhD in neuroscience herself, and did extensive research on Alzheimer's, I feel like Genova's book is the closest I will come to understanding what went on in my grandmother's mind.
  • (4/5)
    The main character has early onset Alzheimer's. I don't know much about the disease, but I found this book to be very interesting. If it's accurate, it gives good insight to what a person goes through as well as the family.

    A movie about Alz, Away from Her, was amazing. It seemed to be a much better view of the disease. I found it leaving a more lasting impression of alzheimer's --the actor's performances were moving.
  • (5/5)
    I found this story profoundly sad, disturbing and thought-provoking when I read it soon after it was first published. When I was faced with reading it for a second time (as a reading group choice) I wondered whether it would have less of an emotional impact. However, I felt as inexorably drawn into the author’s descriptions of how the diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease affected not only Alice, but also her husband, John, and their three adult children. The effects on their lives were profound and disturbing for each of them. I thought that she charted, in a very sensitive and moving way, the gradual disintegration of Alice’s ability to do anything for herself, as well as her continuing demand to be seen for who she had been, not just who she was becoming. She realistically and evocatively captured the ways in which each member of the family developed different, and changing, coping strategies as they struggled to deal both with new realities, and an uncertain future. Everyone hoped for a miracle cure but, as there wasn’t one, they could only watch as the disease unrelentingly destroyed every aspect of Alice’s life, from her memories, to her ability to do anything for herself. There were moments when her descriptions of Alice’s continuing awareness of what was happening to her were so evocative that they felt almost too painful to read: I could almost viscerally feel her frustrations and her fear.There were times when I felt angry with John’s apparent detachment, his constant search for alternative diagnoses or treatments and, finally, with a decision he makes when Alice’s hold on reality has deteriorated considerably. However, the author did such a good job of portraying his point of view, and his need to look forward, that I ended up feeling some empathy with him!Any form of dementia is something no individual or family wants to think about, but when it strikes someone in their fifties the shock must be greater, particularly as this form of the disease has such a strong genetic component, with a fifty percent chance that any children may go on to develop it. I thought that the author dealt well, and very credibly, with the dilemma of whether or not people would choose to take advantage of genetic testing. It seems to me that, whatever the decision, it must be very difficult to either live the rest of your life knowing that you have inherited that gene, or to go through life wondering. Not all forgetful moments are a precursor to dementia, but if there is that history in your family, I can only begin to imagine how stressful such moments must be. This is not an easy story to read but I think that Lisa Genova’s well-informed, compassionate writing has created characters who are unforgettable (if that isn’t too ironic) and through them has conveyed a powerful message that we should continue to “see” the essence of who sufferers are, rather than, through ignorance and fear, ignore them. I’m sure we all ask the question “what if ….? and I think this book goes some way to addressing some of the answers.
  • (4/5)
    When I read this book it really stayed with me and now to see it's going to be a movie with Julianne Moore, I can't wait to see it. She will be wonderful in it. It is a very hard story to read and will break your heart.