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Still Alice Paperback – January 6, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines years of experience in her field to craft a realistic portrait of early onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice Howland has a career not unlike Genova's—she's an esteemed psychology professor at Harvard, living a comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband, John, arguing about the usual (making quality time together, their daughter's move to L.A.) when the first symptoms of Alzheimer's begin to emerge. First, Alice can't find her Blackberry, then she becomes hopelessly disoriented in her own town. Alice is shocked to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's (she had suspected a brain tumor or menopause), after which her life begins steadily to unravel. She loses track of rooms in her home, resigns from Harvard and eventually cannot recognize her own children. The brutal facts of Alzheimer's are heartbreaking, and it's impossible not to feel for Alice and her loved ones, but Genova's prose style is clumsy and her dialogue heavy-handed. This novel will appeal to those dealing with the disease and may prove helpful, but beyond the heartbreaking record of illness there's little here to remember. (Jan.)
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Review

"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")

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; 1 edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439102813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439102817
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,846 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, and Inside the O'Briens.

Still Alice has spent 59 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. It won the 2008 Bronte Prize and the 2011 Bexley Book of the Year, and it was nominated for the 2010 Indies Choice Debut Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association. It was the #6 Top Book Group Favorite of 2009 by Reading Group Choices, a 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, a 2009 Indie Next pick, a 2009 Borders Book Club Pick, and a 2009 Target Book Club pick. There are over 2.6 million copies in print, and it has been translated into 36 languages. It was chosen as one of the thirty titles for World Book Night 2013. Still Alice is now a film from Sony Pictures Classics starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, and Hunter Parrish. Julianne Moore won the 2015 Best Actress Oscar for her role as Alice Howland.

Left Neglected , also a New York Times bestseller, was the #1 Indie Next Pick for January 2011, the Borders "Book You'll Love" for January 2011, and the #4 Indie Reading Group Pick for summer 2011. Left Neglected was chosen by the Richard and Judy bookclub in the UK.
Lisa's third New York Times bestselling novel, Love Anthony was an October 2012 Indie Next pick and a People Magazine Great Read. USA Today calls it "beautifully written and poignant to the point of heartbreak."

Lisa's fourth novel, Inside the O'Briens, about a family living with Huntington's Disease was published April 7, 2015. An instant bestseller on its first week, it became the #1 hardcover fiction title in Canada and #12 on the New York Times bestseller list. "An unsparing, heart-piercing portrait...compelling...enlightening." -Washington Post. "A gut-wrenching and memorable read." -Library Journal, starred review.

Speaking about the neurological diseases and disorders she writes about, Lisa has appeared on the Today Show, Dr. Oz, the Diane Rehm Show, CNN, Chronicle, Fox News, and Canada AM and was featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary film, TO NOT FADE AWAY.

Awards:
The 2015 Pell Center Prize for Story in the Public Square
The 2015 Sargent and Eunice Shriver Profiles in Dignity Award
The 2015 Abe Burrows Entertainment Award for the film "Still Alice"

Find out more at www.LisaGenova.com, www.facebook.com/authorlisagenova

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

551 of 562 people found the following review helpful By drebbles VINE VOICE on May 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
When Dr. Alice Howland first starts forgetting things like words when giving a speech, she thinks it might be because of menopause. But when she gets lost jogging near her house, on a route she has taken many times, she knows something is seriously wrong and seeks medical help. Not quite fifty, she is totally unprepared for the diagnosis - early onset Alzheimer's. As the disease progresses, Alice and her husband John learn everything they can about the disease and treatments, but Alzheimer's quickly takes its toll on both Alice and her family.

"Still Alice" is a beautifully written, heartbreaking novel about the devastating affect Alzheimer's has on its victims and their families. Author Lisa Genova's choice of Alice - young, in shape, and intelligent (she's a Psychiatry Professor at Harvard) - shows that Alzheimer's can strike anyone, not just the elderly. The book is written from Alice's viewpoint, but Genova does a good job of showing the affect of Alzheimer's not only on Alice, but how her family (John, and their children - Anna, Tom, and Lydia) struggle with the changes in Alice. Genova does an excellent job of describing what is going on in Alice's head as the dementia increases. In fact, Genova does such a good job that I sometimes forgot the book was fiction and not about a real person.

"Still Alice" takes place over a relatively short period of time (September 2002 to September 2005) and it is frightening how fast the Alzheimer's takes over Alice. Genova skillfully captures the bewilderment Alice feels and there are some moments in the book that are very moving - especially a moment involving a black rug and a moment involving a message a healthier Alice left for a sicker Alice.
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230 of 236 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Longorio VINE VOICE on June 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this book on a flight to Dallas, Texas to see my father. Through a series of small strokes he was showing the effects of progressive dementia. Family was trying to decide what we should do. I cried all the way through the book. I had seen my father twice beffore this trip and had observed enough to br concerned.

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.
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159 of 170 people found the following review helpful By Don Moyer on September 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
In "Still Alice" it is uncanny how Lisa Genova gets everything right. Reading it was like reliving the adventure Jenny Knauss and I have had with AD since her diagnosis the first of April 2002.

We have good friends who have written first person accounts of living with AD - Tracy Mobley, Charles Schnieder, and Richard Taylor - and those, and other, particular accounts are invaluable.

Lisa has followed the path of fiction to create a more universal picture of AD. Here many morsels of AD are distilled into the life of one person - Alice - which makes a very potent brew. In fiction Lisa can artfully connect the lurches and crashes of AD and carry the reader along smoothly, but with a powerful driving force. Many a signature morsel of AD is blended so artfully that one doesn't realize that it is there until the taste is almost over - as it is in reality.

And, there is a progressive point of view. Rather than treat people living with AD as victims who need help from the social workers dominating the AD establishment, we should treat Alice as still Alice still living her still real life.

The speech by Alice (pages 249 to 252) to a fictional plenary symposium of the annual Alzheimer's Association Dementia Care Conference of 2005 is a manifesto for the progressive view that our approach to AD should be to help people living with AD enrich their lives and have fun. (Jenny made the same points in a conversation for a plenary symposium at the actual Dementia Care Conference in July 2005.)

This book should be read not just by everyone embarking on an adventure with AD, but by everyone. It will give you the most potent and universal understanding of the AD experience, and it will motivate you to become a champion for the more progressive view of AD.

I predict that this wonderful book will become a best seller because of praise by readers.
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