This groundbreaking multicultural anthology shares moving personal stories about the impacts of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
An estimated 5.7 million Americans are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease, including 10 percent of those over sixty-five, and it is the sixth leading cause of death. But its effects are more pervasive: for the nearly 6 million sufferers, there are more than 16 million family caregivers and many more family members. Alzheimer’s wreaks havoc not only on brain cells; it is a disease of the spirit and heart for those who suffer from it but also for their families.
This groundbreaking anthology presents forty narratives, both nonfiction and fiction, that together capture the impact and complexity of Alzheimer’s and other dementias on patients as well as their caregivers and family. Deeply personal, recounting the wrenching course of a disease that kills a loved one twice—first they forget who they are, and then the body succumbs—these stories also show how witnessing the disease and caring for someone with it can be powerfully transformative, calling forth amazing strength and grace.
The contributors, who have all generously donated their work, include Edwidge Danticat, Julie Otsuka, Elizabeth Nunez, Meryl Comer, Greg O’Brien, Dr. Daniel Potts, Sallie Tisdale, and Nihal Satyadev. Reflecting the diversity and global nature of the dementia crisis, this anthology is published in collaboration with UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.
Marita Golden, cofounder and president emeritus of the Hurston/Wright Foundation, is a veteran teacher of writing and an acclaimed award-winning author of more than a dozen works of fiction and nonfiction. She has served as a member of the faculties of the MFA graduate creative writing programs at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University and in the MA creative writing program at John Hopkins University, and has taught writing internationally to a variety of constituencies. She currently lives in Maryland.
Praise for The Wide Circumference of Love by Marita Golden, an NAACP Image Award nominee and NPR Best Book of the Year
"Golden takes a frank and authentic approach to dementia's relentless and all-encompassing nature . . . while also calling attention to the increased prevalence of Alzheimer's in the African American community."—Shelf Awareness, starred review
“[A] beautiful novel.”—NPR
"[A] must-read . . . Achingly real."—Essence
"Unflinching . . . Golden’s writing is as poetic as it is heartbreaking."—Washington Independent Review of Books
“Golden's redemptive novel is a tale of family survival in which love softens the brutal edges of an insidious disease.” —Kirkus reviews
"A deeply resonant and important novel that everyone should read. Marita Golden writes with unsurpassed grace and humanity about Alzheimer’s, family, the burden of memory and the enduring power of love."—Julie Otsuka, bestselling author of The Buddha in the Attic
"This is a story that will linger in the heart long after the last page is read."—Elizabeth Nunez, author of Even in Paradise
"In clear, captivating prose, this distinctive and hopeful voice—a voice essential to the canon of Alzheimer’s literature—tells an absorbing story of family disintegration, redemption, hope, and renewal, all made possible through the vehicle of love."—Cathie Borrie, author of The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother, and Me
"Exceptional . . . An honest and unsparing look at the devastation Alzheimer’s Disease causes in even the most caring and accomplished of families. Remarkably, it also celebrates the meaning, healing, hope—and even joy—that may still be found in the lives of everyone involved."—Jean Hegland, author of Into the Forest and Still Time
“Heartbreakingly beautiful . . . Filled with hope and happiness.” —Bernice L. McFadden, author of The Book of Harlan