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The Last Ocean: A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting

Category: Book
By (author): Gerrard, Nicci
  HEALTH & FITNESS / Diseases / Alzheimer's & Dementia
  SELF-HELP / General
Publisher: Penguin Press
Published: August 2019
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 272
Size: 8.25in x 5.50in x 0.68in
Our Price:
$ 37.00
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*From the award-winning journalist and author, a lyrical, raw, and humane investigation of dementia that explores both the journey of the person who lives with the condition and that of their loved ones.

Diagnosed with dementia, Nicci Gerrard's father, John, continued to live life on his own terms, alongside the disease. But when an isolating hospital stay precipitated a dramatic turn for the worse, Gerrard, an award-winning journalist and author, recognized that it was not just the disease, but misguided protocol and harmful practice that cause pain at the end of life. Inspired by his memory to seek a better course for all who suffer with the disease and those who love them, Gerrard became a relentless campaigner.

THE LAST OCEAN is Gerrard's attempt to investigate what dementia does to both the person who lives with the condition and to their caregivers. Dementia is now one of the leading causes of death in the West, and this necessary book will offer both comfort and a map to those walking through it. While she begins with her father's long slip into forgetting, the writing expands to elegantly investigate dementia writ large. It's a raw but literary look at caring for someone who has been robbed of their selfhood. Gerrard gives shape both to the unimaginable loss of one's own faculties, as well as to the pain of their loved ones. Her lens is unflinching, but Gerrard takes great pains to honor her subjects and to find the beauty and the humanity in their seemingly diminished states.

In so doing, she examines the philosophy of what it means to be human, to have a self. And she looks at better models of dementia care around the world, at how we can offer dignity and peace to those who suffer with the disease.

Not only will it aid those walking with dementia patients, THE LAST OCEAN will prompt all of us to think on the nature of a life well lived.
Review Quote*"[Gerrard's] powerful and beautifully written book takes the reader on a poignant voyage."-The Guardian 

"Essential reading about love, life, and care"-Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth

"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"-Sebastian Crutch Professor of Neuropsychology, Dementia Research Centre, University College London

"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"-Paul Webster, editor of the Observer

"Gerrard ranges widely and wisely, raising questions about what it is to be human and facing truths too deep for tears"-Blake Morrison, author of And When Did You Last See Your Father?
"Evocative and powerful, shining a light on a world which is often hidden and misunderstood"-Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England

"Gerrard writes beautifully, encyclopedically, and with humanity"-Nicholas Timmins, honorary fellow of Royal College of Physicians
"Nobody has written on dementia as well as Nicci Gerrard in this new book. Kind, knowing and infinitely useful"-Andrew Marr

"This is a tender, lyrical, profound, urgent book . . . Gerrard has penned a treatise on what it is to be human"-Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Biographical NoteAs well as being a novelist, Nicci Gerrard is a journalist, a campaigner and a humanist celebrant. Nicci Gerrard writes for The Observer and is the co-author, with Sean French, of the UK bestselling Nicci French thrillers. In 2016 she won the Orwell Prize for Journalism, for a piece exploring dementia. Following her father's death in 2014, she co-founded John's Campaign which seeks to make care for those who are vulnerable and powerless more compassionate, and is now a national movement in the UK.