Memory's Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia by Gerda Saunders

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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
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0316502626
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages


Cheri rated it ★★★☆☆

June 16, 2017

3.5 Stars ” 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...

PattyMacDotComma rated it ★★★★☆

October 05, 2017

4★ “Our family’s experience in comparing individual memories is congruent to my finding that the brain refreshes the ‘truth’ every time you retell.” The author remembers a spectacular event from her childhood when a very fat death adder was discovered and killed and a whole lot of babies burst out!...

Petra X rated it ★★☆☆☆

February 25, 2018

I read this book because it was recommended to me by a friend as a book to do with Alzheimer's and I hope she will forgive me that I can't write a good review. I really disliked the author. I thought she was a dyed-in-the-wool pro=Apartheid racist who liked to think of herself as a liberal. It is...

Liz rated it ★★★★☆

July 27, 2017

3.5 stars 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...

Canadian rated it ★★★☆☆

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...

Angie rated it ★★☆☆☆

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...

Magdelanye rated it ★★★★☆

January 30, 2018

The human tendency to find order in chaos causes us to fill in conspicuous gaps or loose ends so that everything fits into a story and...put into context. p 145 The self divides the minute we start looking for it. p224 In this amazing and moving study, GS attempts to fill in the ever widening gaps...

Michael rated it ★★★★★

February 02, 2018

An amazing and revealing look at both a life and the loss of mental faculties. Saunders combines tales from her past with notes from the journal she began taking after being diagnosed with dementia. She is exceptionally open, at times shockingly so. Memory's Last Breath is a mixture of autobiogra...

Sian rated it ★★★☆☆

November 04, 2017

I am so impressed that Gerda Saunders wrote this book about her dementia - it's an amazing achievement. I also think it's a really valuable book in understanding dementia and understanding how people with dementia feel and cope. If you know or work with people with dementia this is a really helpf...

Erik rated it ★★★☆☆

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...

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