A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia and Poetry
by Rachel Hadas
I won this one in a contest on Rose City Reader, and the publicist, Mary Bisbee-Beek is offering me three more copies to giveaway to readers. It just arrived, and I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I'm taking it with me on vacation next week. It sure looks like a winner.
Here's the publishing blurb:
In 2005 Rachel Hadas's husband, George Edwards, a composer and professor of music at Columbia University, was diagnosed with dementia at age sixty-one. Neurodegenerative ailments are a murky matter; it isn't clear even now whether George was suffering from Alzheimer's disease or frontotemporal dementia. Nor is it possible to determine when the illness began its slow, insidious course.
Strange Relation is Rachel Hadas's account of "losing" George. She begins her narrative when George's illness can no longer be ignored, and ends it in 2008, soon after his move to a dementia facility (when, after thirty years of marriage, she finds herself no longer living with her husband). Along the way, she offers flashbacks and digressions that draw us into their lives.
Hadas wrote most of Strange Relation during the years when she was living in a zone of deepening silence. Literature was often her most faithful companion, so this is, in part, a book about the books and poetry (hers and others) that helped her live her life. Within the cloudy confines of those murky years, years when reading and writing were an essential part of what kept her going, she "tried to keep track . . . tried to tell the truth."
Rachel Hadas is a professor and writer, the author of numerous books of poetry, essays, and translation. Her recent publications include The River of Forgetfulness, Laws, Indelible, and Halfway Down the Hall: New & Selected Poems, a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. She lives in Manhattan.
So here are the simple rules for entering:
- Leave me a comment telling me why you want to win. Be sure you include your email address. NO EMAIL, No ENTRY.
- Leave me another comment saying whether you're a follower or become a follower and tell me.
- Blog about this on your blog (sidebars are OK) and leave me the link to your post.
- I don't tweet or twitter, so you may leave one extra comment between now and February 15th. Just say "extra entry".
- US addresses only - no PO Boxes.
- Deadline is 11:59PM February 23rd EST.