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Memory's Last Breath

Memory's Last Breath Cover

Memory's Last Breath

Field Notes on My Dementia

By Gerda Saunders

Hachette Books, Hardcover, 9780316502627, 288pp.

Publication Date: June 13, 2017

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Description
- A] courageous and singular book.----Andrew Solomon
In the tradition of Brain on Fire and When Breath Becomes Air, Gerda Saunders' Memory's Last Breath is an unsparing, beautifully written memoir--a true-life Still Alice that captures Saunders' experience as a fiercely intellectual person living with the knowledge that her brain is betraying her. Saunders' book is uncharted territory in the writing on dementia, a diagnosis one in nine Americans will receive.

Based on the -field notes- she keeps in her journal, Memory's Last Breath is Saunders' astonishing window into a life distorted by dementia. She writes about shopping trips cut short by unintentional shoplifting, car journeys derailed when she loses her bearings, and the embarrassment of forgetting what she has just said to a room of colleagues. Coping with the complications of losing short-term memory, Saunders nonetheless embarks on a personal investigation of the brain and its mysteries, examining science and literature, and immersing herself in vivid memories of her childhood in South Africa.
Written in a distinctive voice without a trace of self-pity, Memory's Last Breath is a remarkable, aphorism-free contribution to the literature of dementia--and an eye-opening personal memoir that will grip all adventurous readers.


About the Author
Gerda Saunders emigrated to the United States from South Africa in 1984. In 1996 she received a PhD in English from the University of Utah, where she later served as associate director of the Gender Studies Program. Saunders is the author of the short story collection Blessings on the Sheep Dog. She has spoken with the BBC and The Huffington Post about living with dementia, and is the subject of a series of short films being produced by VideoWest and featured on Slate.
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