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Still Alice Paperback – Jan 6 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; 1st (first) edition (Jan. 6 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439102813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439102817
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Heartbreakingly real.... So real, in fact, that it kept me from sleeping for several nights. I couldn't put it down....Still Alice is a story that must be told." -- Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader

"After I read Still Alice, I wanted to stand up and tell a train full of strangers, 'You have to get this book.'" -- Beverly Beckham, The Boston Globe

"This book is as important as it is impressive, and will grace the lives of those affected by this dread disease for generations to come." -- Phil Bolsta, author of Sixty Seconds

"With a master storyteller's easy eloquence, Lisa Genova shines a searing spotlight on this Alice's surreal wonderland. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to read this book. It will inform you. It will scare you. It will change you." -- Julia Fox Garrison, author of Don't Leave Me This Way

"A work of pure genius." -- Charley Schneider, author of Don't Bury Me, It Ain't Over Yet

"A masterpiece that will touch lives in ways none of us can even imagine. This book is the best portrayal of the Alzheimer's journey that I have read." -- Mark Warner, Alzheimer's Daily News

"With grace and compassion, Lisa Genova writes about the enormous white emptiness created by Alzheimer's." -- The Improper Bostonian

"Heartbreaking." -- The Cape Cod Chronicle

“Because the full, internal experience of Alzheimer’s is an account that fiction alone can deliver, it’s no surprise that the go-to book for caretakers and early-stage sufferers is a novel. “Still Alice,” written by the neuroscientist Lisa Genova, offers a crisp, straightforward, and wrenching depiction of the fifty-year-old Harvard professor Alice Howland’s descent into the swift, early-onset form of the disease.” (The New Yorker, "A Place Beyond Words: The Literature of Alzheimer")

About the Author

Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of Inside the O'Briens, Love Anthony, Left Neglected, and Still Alice. Her first novel, Still Alice, has been adapted into a 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 Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and autism. She has appeared on Dr. Oz, The Diane Rehm Show, CNN, Chronicle, Fox News, and Canada AM and is featured in the Emmy Award–winning documentary film To Not Fade Away. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Longorio on Jan. 19 2009
Format: Paperback
Alice Howland taught cognitive psychology courses at Harvard for over twenty-five years. Alice and her husband, John authored Molecules to Mind, she published papers, and lectured around the world. Her three children were grown and on their own paths (not that she was very happy about Lydia's choice of acting, but she hadn't given up trying to influence her to go back to real school). Her son Tom was doing well in school, daughter Annie and her husband, Charlie are attorneys trying to conceive a first grandchild.

Facing a busy schedule and travel and everyday stress, Alice isn't concerned when she begins to forget little things, where the keys are, names of acquaintances or a momentary sense of disorientation. After all she is fifty and that is part of menopause. .

A trip to her family doctor to get some suggestions for cognitive memory reinforcement and to see if medication is available does not help. Alice is stunned to learn that she has Early Onset Alzheimer's and that there is not very much available for treatment. Telling her husband and children is even harder to face. Eventually she has to face the loss of her teaching and life's work.

"Still Alice" is Alice's voice as she struggles with the advancement of Alzheimer's. As the disease advances, she is living more in the now, and often hurt by her interpretations of family member's words and actions. She reacts with anger and confusion as her world shifts and becomes more unfamiliar and frightening. Her family also has to deal with their emotions. The realization that their funny, loving accomplished mother and wife is slowly disappearing before their eyes are devastating, and they each react differently.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lotus Lady on Sept. 27 2009
Format: Paperback
As a social worker, working with many individuals and families as they travel through journeys of living with dementia, I appreciated the new insights that this story brought to my understanding. I appreciated the insider's view of a woman living with dementia, as I find that in practice within the medical field, this so often becomes lost. Also lost in real life is a focus on what a person's strengths, abilities and beliefs are, despite the challenges and loses they are facing - in particular, Alice's daughter Lydia is still able to draw this out in relationship with Alice. I enjoyed a view into what Alice focused on during social interactions once her abilities to engage in fast paced dialogue had diminished - her eye to what people's non verbal communication was saying, what emotions she could read in others and how she looked at the textures/pieces of an environment in new ways. Overall,
I applaud Lisa Genova's effort to highlight the experience of people with early onset dementia and to lead us all to think about and remember that we are much more than our intelligence and ability to multitask that is so often over valued in our culture today.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Janet B TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 10 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the story of Alice Howland, a brilliant 50 year old cognitive psychology Harvard professor. She has published articles and lectured around the world. She is the wife of John, a successful scientist and together they have 3 children. Anna is an attorney married to an attorney,Tom a college student and Lydia is an actress.

Alice begins to experience moments of forgetting and confusion which she chalks up to perhaps menopause, aging, her busy professional life, too much stress, not getting enough sleep etc. Some of these moments include searching for hours for her BlackBerry charger which is always plugged in the electrical socket right beside her bed, and a jog in Harvard Square which she is so familiar with, she suddenly becomes disoriented and now can't find her way back home. Her memory comes back and she returns home.

She was invited to be guest speaker at Stanford to kick off the cognitive psychology fall colloquium series. She has no trouble getting there and when she does she is introduced and begins her 50 minute talk. She loves public speaking and she loves to teach so this comes easy to her. However 40 minutes into her talk she can't find the word.It's gone and not even on the tip of her tongue. It's gone forever.She thinks that it may be from the champagne she drank or perhaps jet lag. She feels so embarrassed and wonders what people are thinking.

Alice keeps putting off calling her GP thinking that the episodes will disappear with time. She finally sees her GP and tells her that she's been having memory problems. Her GP does tests and the tests turn out normal. Alice thinks it is probably a brain tumour and tells her doctor she wants to see a neurologist.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reganrants on May 19 2011
Format: Paperback
Alice is a fit and healthy fifty year-old Harvard professor when she is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

"Still Alice" is a first hand account of someone diagnosed with this disease far too young, and like any first hand account it educates us about perspectives. Smart and instantly likeable, as Alice goes through the stages of her disease so does the reader. Her loss of lucidity is evident as you are treated to the inner workings of her mind.

As Alice says in a lecture at an Alzheimer's convention in one scene, just because they are living with this disease doesn't mean the rest of the world should write them off.

"My yesterdays are disappearing, and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment. Some tomorrow soon, I'll forget that I stood before you and gave this speech. But just because I'll forget it some tomorrow doesn't mean that I didn't live every second of it today. I will forget today, but that doesn't mean that today didn't matter."

And so this book is not only a great read, a personal journey of a beautiful character and her family, it also educates us about a terribly shattering dementia. I love learning as I read, it's my favorite form of multi-tasking.

Life is no fairytale, and if diagnosed with this disease, it would be almost impossible to see any light. Yet the author manages to bring a touch of grace to a tragic situation. Relationships can evolve in curious ways, as happens to Alice. Without sugar-coating, this story illuminates that Alzheimer's is not an ending, but rather a challenge which forces you to live your life differently.
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