Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines Add Audible book to your download for just $ Deliver to. the month's book. During the evening we'll talk about the book and enjoy each other's company as well as a nice cuppa' tea and some delicious cake. And you. Still Alice is the first novel written by Dr. Lisa Genova. Dr. Genova holds her PhD in neuro- science from Harvard University and is a columnist for the National.
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STILL ALICE by Lisa Genova - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or She wanted to read every book she could before she could no longer read. In Lisa Genova's extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, an accomplished woman slowly loses her thoughts and memories to Alzheimer's. at Alzheimer's. The novelist talks about her life and her book,. Still Alice, whose film adaptation recently won actress Julianne Moore an Academy Award® for.
Good, busy, working hard.
So how did you meet Doug and Malcolm? They came into Starbucks one night while I was working.
The waiter appeared, and each of them ordered dinner and another drink. Alice hoped the alcohol would dilute the tension between them, which felt heavy and thick and just beneath the tracing-paper-thin conversation. I just told you. Why dont you ever listen to anything I say?
They came into Starbucks one night talking about looking for a roommate while I was working. I thought you were waitressing at a restaurant. I work at Starbucks during the week and waitress on Saturday nights.
Doesnt sound like that leaves a lot of time for acting. Im not cast in anything right now, but Im taking workshop classes, and Im auditioning a lot. What kind of classes? Meisner technique. And whatve you been auditioning for? Television and print. Alice swirled her wine, drank the last, big gulp, and licked her lips.
Lydia, what exactly is your plan here? Im not planning on stopping, if thats what youre asking. The drinks were taking effect, but not in the direction Alice had hoped for.
Instead, they served as the fuel that burned that little piece of tracing paper, leaving the tension between them fully exposed and at the helm of a dangerously familiar conversation.
Are you still going to work at Starbucks when youre thirty? Thats eight years away! Do you know what youll be doing in eight years? Yes, I do. At some point, you need to be responsible, you need to be able to afford things like health insurance, a mortgage, savings for retirement I have health insurance.
And I might make it as an actor. There are people who do, you know. And they make a hell of a lot more money than you and Dad combined. This isnt just about money. Then what? That I didnt become you?
Lower your voice. Dont tell me what to do. I dont want you to become me, Lydia. I just dont want you to limit your choices. You want to make my choices. This is who I am, this is what I want to do. What, serving up Venti lattes? You should be in college.
You should be spending this time in your life learning something. I am learning something! Im just not sitting in a Harvard classroom killing myself trying to get an A in political science. Im in a serious acting class for fteen hours a week. How many hours of class a week do your students take, twelve? Its not the same thing. Well, Dad thinks it is. Hes paying for it. Alice clenched the sides of her skirt and pressed her lips together.
What she wanted to say next wasnt meant for Lydia. Youve never even seen me act. Hed own out alone last winter to see her perform in a play. Swamped with too many urgent things at the time, Alice couldnt free up to go. As she looked at Lydias pained eyes, she couldnt remember now what those urgent things had been.
She didnt have anything against an acting career itself, but she believed her daughters singular pursuit of it, without an education, bordered on reckless. If she didnt go to college now, acquire a knowledge base or formal training in some eld, if she didnt get a degree, what would she do if acting didnt pan out? Alice thought about those condoms in the bathroom.
What if Lydia got pregnant? Alice worried that Lydia might someday nd herself trapped in a life that was unfullled, full of regret. She looked at her daughter and saw so much wasted potential, so much wasted time. Youre not getting any younger, Lydia. Life goes by too fast.
I agree. The food came, but neither of them picked up a fork. Lydia dabbed her eyes with her hand-embroidered linen napkin. They always fell into the same battle, and it felt to Alice like trying to knock down a concrete wall with their heads.
It was never going to be productive and only resulted in hurting them, causing lasting damage. She wished Lydia could see the love and wisdom in what she wanted for her.
She wished she could just reach across the table and hug her daughter, but there were too many dishes, glasses, and years of distance between them. A sudden urry of activity a few tables away pulled their attention from themselves. Several camera ashes popped, and a small crowd of patrons and waitstaff gathered, all focused on a woman who looked a bit like Lydia.
Mom, said Lydia in a tone both embarrassed and superior, perfected at the age of thirteen. Thats Jennifer Aniston. They ate their dinner and talked only of safe things, like the food and the weather.
Alice wanted to discover more about Lydias relationship with Malcolm, but the embers of Lydias emotions still glowed hot, and Alice feared igniting another ght. She paid the bill and they left the restaurant, full but dissatised. Excuse me, maam! Their waiter caught up to them on the sidewalk. You left this. Alice paused, trying to comprehend how their waiter might come to possess her BlackBerry.
She hadnt checked her email or calendar in the restaurant. She felt inside her bag. No BlackBerry. She mustve removed it when she shed her wallet out to pay. Thank you. Lydia looked at her quizzically, as if she wanted to say something about something other than food or weather, but then didnt.
They walked back to her apartment in silence. Alice waited, suspended in the front hallway, holding the handle of her suitcase. Harvard Magazine lay on the top of a pile of unclaimed mail strewn on the oor in front of her.
The clock in the living room ticked and the refrigerator hummed. A warm, sunny late afternoon at her back, the air inside felt chilly, dim, and stale. She picked up the mail and walked into the kitchen, her suitcase on wheels accompanying her like a loyal pet. Her ight had been delayed, and she was late getting in, even according to the microwave. Hed had a whole day, a whole Saturday, to work.
The red voice-mail light on their answering machine stared her down, unblinking. She checked the refrigerator. No note on the door. Still clutching the handle of her suitcase, she stood in the dark kitchen and watched several minutes advance on the microwave. The disappointed but forgiving voice in her head faded to a whisper as the volume of a more primal one began to build and spread out.
She thought about calling him, but the expanding voice rejected the suggestion outright and refused all excuses. She thought about deciding not to care, but the voice, now seeping down into her body, echoing in her belly, vibrating in each of her ngertips, was too powerful and pervasive to ignore.
Why did it bother her so much? He was in the middle of an experiment and couldnt leave it to come home. Shed certainly been in his shoes innumerable times. This was what they did. This was who they were.
The voice called her a stupid fool. She spotted her running shoes on the oor next to the back door. A run would make her feel better. That was what she needed. Ideally, she ran every day. For many years now, shed treated running like eating or sleeping, as a vital daily necessity, and shed been known to squeeze in a jog at midnight or in the middle of a blinding snowstorm.
But shed neglected this basic need over the last several months. Shed been so busy. As she laced her shoes, she told herself she hadnt bothered bringing them with her to California because shed known 19 s t i l l a l i c e 20 she wouldnt have the time. In truth, shed simply forgotten to pack them. When starting from her house on Poplar Street, she invariably followed the same routedown Massachusetts Avenue, through Harvard Square to Memorial Drive, along the Charles River to the Harvard Bridge over by MIT, and backa little over ve miles, a forty-ve-minute round trip.
She had long been attracted to the idea of running in the Boston Marathon but each year decided that she realistically didnt have the time to train for that kind of distance. Maybe someday she would. In excellent physical condition for a woman her age, she imagined running strong well into her sixties.
Clustered pedestrian trafc on the sidewalks and intermittent negotiations with car trafc in street intersections littered the rst part of her run through Harvard Square.
It was crowded and ripe with anticipation at that time of day on a Saturday, with crowds forming and milling around on street corners waiting for walk signals, outside restaurants waiting for tables, in movie theater lines waiting for tickets, and in double-parked cars waiting for an unlikely opening in a metered space.
The rst ten minutes of her run required a good deal of conscious external concentration to navigate through it all, but once she crossed Memorial Drive to the Charles River, she was free to run in full stride and completely in the zone. A comfortable and cloudless evening invited a lot of activity along the Charles, yet the grassy area beside the river felt less congested than the streets of Cambridge. Despite a steady stream of joggers, dogs and their owners, walkers, Rollerbladers, cyclists, and women pushing babies in jogger strollers, like an experienced driver on a regularly traveled l i s a g e n o va stretch of road, Alice retained only a vague sense for what went on around her now.
As she ran along the river, she became mindful of nothing but the sounds of her Nikes hitting the pavement in syncopated rhythm with the pace of her breath. She didnt replay her argument with Lydia. She didnt acknowledge her growling stomach. She didnt think about John. She just ran. As was her routine, she stopped running once she made it back to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Park, a pocket of manicured lawns abutting Memorial Drive. Her head cleared, her body relaxed and rejuvenated, she began walking home.
At the other end of the corridor, she stood at the intersection of Eliot Street and Brattle, ready to cross, when a woman grabbed her forearm with startling force and said, Have you thought about heaven today? The woman xed Alice with a penetrating, unwavering stare. She had long hair the color and texture of a teased Brillo pad and wore a handmade placard hung over her chest that read america repent, turn to jesus from sin.
There was always someone selling God in Harvard Square, but Alice had never been singled out so directly and intimately before. Sorry, she said and, noticing a break in the ow of trafc, escaped to the other side of the street.
She wanted to continue walking but stood frozen instead. She didnt know where she was. She looked back across the street. The Brillo-haired woman pursued another sinner down the corridor. The corridor, the hotel, the stores, the illogically meandering streets. She knew she was in Harvard Square, but she didnt know which way was home.
Hardware, Mount Auburn Street. She knew all of these placesthis square had been her stomping ground for over twenty-ve yearsbut they somehow didnt t into a mental map that told her where she lived relative to them. A black-and-white circular T sign directly in front of her marked an entrance to the Red Line trains and buses underground, but there were three such entrances in Harvard Square, and she couldnt piece together which one of the three this was.
Her heart began to race. She started sweating. She told herself that an accelerated heart rate and perspiration were part of an orchestrated and appropriate response to running. But as she stood on the sidewalk, it felt like panic. She willed herself to walk another block and then another, her rubbery legs feeling like they might give way with each bewildered step. The Coop, Cardullos, the magazines on the corner, the Cambridge visitors center across the street, and Harvard Yard beyond that. Concerned about Alzheimer's Disease?
Julianne Moore Poignantly Underplays Alzheimer's. Self-Publishing Success Story: Delicious Reads: More ebooks: Star added. Quote saved. View saved quotes Close. Login to quote this blog Login Close. Failed to save quote. Please try again later. You cannot quote because this article is private. Alice decides she wants to spend her remaining time with her family and her books.
Considering her devotion and passion for her work, why doesn't her research make the list of priorities? Does Alice most identify herself as a mother, wife, or scholar? Were you surprised at Alice's plan to overdose on sleeping pills once her disease progressed to an advanced stage? Is this decision in character? Why does she make this difficult choice?
If they found out, would her family approve? As the symptoms worsen, Alice begins to feel like she's living in one of Lydia's plays: " Interior of Doctor's Office. The neurologist left the room. The husband spun his ring.
The woman hoped for a cure. Is this thought process a sign of the disease, or does pretending it's not happening to her make it easier for Alice to deal with reality?
Do Alice's relationships with her children differ? Why does she read Lydia's diary? And does Lydia decide to attend college only to honor her mother? Alice's mother and sister died when she was only a freshman in college, and yet Alice has to keep reminding herself they're not about to walk through the door.
As the symptoms worsen, why does Alice think more about her mother and sister? Is it because her older memories are more accessible, is she thinking of happier times, or is she worried about her own mortality? Alice and the members of her support group, Mary, Cathy, and Dan, all discuss how their reputations suffered prior to their diagnoses because people thought they were being difficult or possibly had substance abuse problems.
Is preserving their legacies one of the biggest obstacles to people suffering from Alzheimer's disease? What examples are there of people still respecting Alice's wishes, and at what times is she ignored?