Read Memory's Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia Online Free - 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.
|Title||:||Memory's Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia|
|Number of Pages||:||288 pages|
June 16, 2017
” And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life.”
--Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
A now retired scientist, Gerda Saunders was 61 when she was diagnosed wit...
July 27, 2017
So, after reading this, I've got very mixed feelings about this book. Overall, it's an amazing journal of what it means when a 61 year old woman is diagnosed with a form of dementia. Of course, it hit home especially hard for me as we are basically the same age. And whom among us doesn't...
September 04, 2017
Memory’s Last Breath is not exactly the book of field notes its subtitle suggests. Yes, it contains some qualitative written observations about Saunders’s decline in cognitive function as she goes about her daily life, and yes, these do assist the reader in understanding the lived phenomenon of t...
June 21, 2017
Disappointing. I picked this up after hearing the author on NPR, so I expected to like it but threw in the towel about halfway through.
It is actually 13 essays about various aspects of her dementia, which is a wise choice of structure for someone with her problem. She talked of the difficulty of...
August 29, 2017
sort of feel a bit middle of the road bout this one. love ((and will be taking with me in my dealings at the library and more importantly w my mother..)) being let in to how someone feels in the pre slippings of dementia and how big a loss it is for them. it's important to hold that in dealings w...
July 08, 2017
Heartbreaking on so many levels, personal and otherwise. But still, her strength and vivacity comes through on every page.
July 03, 2017
This has been my favorite read so far this summer. A poignant look, through the first person eye of the writer, at dementia. As a geriatric nurse for 30 years, I have seen it come to many, many people. Slowly it attacks the mind. Until eventually, the person that houses the mind, is just a shell....
July 14, 2017
Gerda is a professor diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and this is basically a collection of essays about her life. Some are beautiful and her thoughts on what is to come are heartbreaking and profound. Some are boring.
August 22, 2017
I expected a lot more from this book. At times, it is very insightful about the experience of mild to moderate dementia, and living with the clear prospect of severe dementia. The author is also compelling in her stories of her childhood in South Africa, her relationship with her husband, and wit...
August 29, 2017
I've come away from the book with many questions that need tossing about in my mind as to how one progresses towards the inevitable end through the uncertainties of aging. As a sage advises we all ask ourselves, "How are you dying gracefully?" ideally I would like to age and die gracefully. But w...