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Still Alice Paperback – January 6, 2009


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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: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,692 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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")

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, and LOVE ANTHONY.

STILL ALICE spent 41 weeks on the New York Time 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 a million copies in print, and it has been translated into 25 languages. It was chosen as one of thirty titles for World Book Night 2013.

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. It was chosen by the Richard and Judy bookclub in the UK.

Lisa's third novel, LOVE ANTHONY, also a New York Times bestseller, was an Indie Next Pick for October 2012 and a People Magazine Great Read.

Lisa travels worldwide, speaking about Alzheimer's Disease, traumatic brain injury, and autism. She has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, 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.

Lisa's fourth novel focuses on Huntington's Disease. She lives with her family on Cape Cod.

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

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Customer Reviews

It's a well written book and a very easy read.
ToTellTheTruth
Still Alice is a very emotional story of one woman's struggle with early onset Alzheimer's disease.
the Geezer
I just finished reading this book and I could not put it down.
Rose

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

429 of 436 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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120 of 121 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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153 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Erika (Jawas Read, Too) on February 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Alice Howland is a respected Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. Her research has earned her a distinguished position in the literature of psycholinguistics; her publications have become cornerstones of knowledge in her field; her speeches and lectures are in high demand, allowing Alice to remain active in travel. She's married with three adult children, is 50 years old, at the height of her career, but can't remember simple words during lecture, forgets to board a plane, and loses her way on a run back home. In just a few short months Alice is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's Disease.

The rapid decline of Alice's condition is heart-breaking and alarming. Lisa Genova's expertise as a Neuroscientist gives her a unique perspective on the science of Alzheimer's; her personal experience with the disease gives her an emotional understanding. The narrative is painstakingly verbose with the language of neuropathy, cellular biology, and pharmaceuticals. It's clear from the beginning that Genova's own knowledge fuels Alice's scientific rationalizations. In fact, Alice's husband is a cancer cell biologist; her son, Tom, is a surgeon--what better excuse to exercise the clinical lingo of Alzheimer's than between fellow scientists and intellectuals trained around the words most of us feel we need a translator to understand? While these characters justify the liberal application of unforgiving, medical descriptions, I couldn't help feeling the narrative suffered more from this than it benefited.

As someone with personal experience with Alzheimer's, I appreciated the effort that went into the research for Still Alice. It's a merciless, brutal disease with exhaustive explanations and an overwhelming amount of treatment information.
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