Narrated By: Nicci Gerrard
Duration: 8 hours and 29 minutes
What to expect
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of What Dementia Teaches Us About Love written and read by Nicci Gerrard.
Dementia is an unmaking, a de-creation - an apocalypse of meaning. Since my father's slow-motion dying, and his actual death in November 2014, I have been much preoccupied with dementia: by those who have it, by those who look after them, by the hospital wards whose beds are occupied by those in advanced stages of this self-loss, by the way society denies it, by the science of it, the art and literature about it, the philosophy, by what it means to be human, to have an identity. What is it to be oneself, and what is it to lose one's self. Who are we when we are not ourselves, and where do we go?
This is a book about dementia - not a personal account, but an exploration, structured around this radically-slowed death. Full of people's stories, both sad and optimistic, it is a journey into the dusk and then the darkness - and then out on to the other side, where, once someone is dead, a life can be seen whole again.
Social & ethical issues, Health, illness & addiction: social aspects, Social discrimination & equal treatment, Sociology: family & relationships, Coping with illness & specific health conditions, Ethical issues: euthanasia & right to die, Alzheimer's & dementia, Sociology: death & dying, Self-help, personal development & practical advice, Psychology: the self, ego, identity, personality
Listen to a sample
Immensely powerful . . . an incisive and compelling read. Gerrard, a crime novelist and former journalist, visits the "fresh hell" of hospitals across the UK, and interviews sufferers and those whose lives have been indelibly shaped by the diagnosis of a loved one . . . As well as being part-memoir and part-reportage, What Dementia Teaches Us About Love is also a great part philosophical inquiry into the nature of self and what it is to be human.
A profound and powerful exploration of how society interprets and deals with a health challenge that will only deepen over the coming decades
An extraordinarily luminous book, at once terribly sad and frightening but also somehow hopeful and energising.
Essential reading about love, life and care
Immensely powerful . . . shot through with insights. Gerrard's book is an elegant yet devastating interrogation into this fatal loss of self, and is part-reportage, part-philosophical inquiry, but, above all, intensely personal.
Nobody has written on dementia as well as Nicci Gerrard in this new book. Kind, knowing and infinitely useful
Evocative and powerful, shining a light on a world which is often hidden and misunderstood
Nicci Gerrard writes with power, insight, empathy and extraordinary beauty about the world of dementia . . . and demonstrates how we can address the fear, despair and ignorance that has accompanied its spread
Gerrard writes beautifully, encyclopaedically and with humanity
This is a tender, lyrical, profound, urgent book . . . Gerrard has penned a treatise on what it is to be human
Nicci Gerrard exudes understanding of the breadth, scale and complexity of the dementias and the challenges they pose for society. Yet she communicates simply, personally and practically as if speaking individually to each of us
Gerrard ranges widely and wisely, raising questions about what it is to be human and facing truths too deep for tears