Us Against Alzheimer’s

“Moving and illuminating . . . It is through stories like these that we begin to understand people living with Alzheimer’s, and maybe—through empathy and compassion—we can heal what can’t yet be cured.”
—Lisa Genova, New York Times–bestselling author of Still Alice

US AGAINST ALZHEIMER’S
Stories of Family, Love, and Faith

Edited by Marita Golden
Introduction by George Vradenburg
Foreword by David Shenk

Us Against Alzheimer’sComposed of forty moving personal narratives, essays, and works of short fiction about the impacts of Alzheimer’s and dementia, Us Against Alzheimer’s: Stories of Family, Love, and Faith (Arcade Publishing, September 2019) is a groundbreaking multicultural anthology that depicts the challenges patients, family, and caregivers face in dealing with this heart-wrenching disease.

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 all the sufferers, there are more than 16 million 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 and for their families.

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 Us Against Alzheimer’s.

Marita Golden is the award-winning author of sixteen works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Wide Circumference of Love, a 2017 NPR Best Book and 2018 NAACP Image Award nominee, published by Arcade, and now being adapted for TV by Just A Rebel Productions. Marita is the cofounder and president emeritus of the Hurston/Wright Foundation and a veteran teacher of writing. 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 constitu- encies. A longtime resident of Washington, DC, she now lives in Mitchellville, Maryland.

George Vradenburg is chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, which he cofounded with his wife, Trish (1946–2017), in October 2010. He was named by US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to serve on the Advisory Council on Research, Care, and Services established by the National Alzheimer’s Project Act and has testified before Congress about the global Alzheimer’s pandemic. He is a member of the World Dementia Council. He and Us Against Alzheimer’s co-convene both the Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD) Coalition and the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease. George served as chairman of The Phillips Collection for thirteen years and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of Washington. He has served in senior executive and legal positions at CBS, FOX, and AOL/Time Warner. George and Trish published Tikkun Magazine for ten years.

David Shenk is the bestselling author of six books, including The Genius in All of Us, The Forgetting, Data Smog, and The Immortal Game. He is cohost of the public radio podcast The Forgetting and creator of the Living with Alzheimer’s Film Project, and has contributed to National Geographic, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, Harper’s, The New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New Republic, NPR, BBC, and PBS. Shenk lives in Brooklyn, NY, and Southfield, MA.

Praise for Us Against Alzheimer’s

“The stories in this anthology are moving and illuminating. I believe in the power of story to educate and demystify, to demolish fear and shame, to generate conversation and connectedness. To humanize. It is through stories like these that we begin to understand people living with Alzheimer’s, and maybe—through empathy and compassion—we can heal what can’t yet be cured.”
—Lisa Genova, New York Times–bestselling author of Still Alice

“Alzheimer’s can be isolating and terrifying, but when we share powerful stories like these, we begin to tear down the walls that keep it in the shadows. The powerful voices in this book shine a light full of humanity, heart, and healing to a disease that has affected so many.”
—Lauren and Seth Rogen, Founders of Hilarity For Charity

“This anthology is terrific. It is the perfect read for those who have or have had the Alzheimer’s experience. The stories are heartfelt and real, and will make a difference in the lives of many. Another excellent piece of work from Marita Golden!”
—Goldie S. Byrd. Alzheimer’s Researcher and Director, Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, Wake Forest School of Medicine

“Here is what’s so beautiful about this book: It is chock full of people sticking their necks out and telling their story. With clarity, with patience, with feeling, with faith.”
—David Shenk, cohost of the podcast The Forgetting: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s, author of The Forgetting, and creator of the Living with Alzheimer’s Film Project

“Having lost a great grandfather to Alzheimer’s, I cannot stress enough the importance of a committed exploration of the disease. If this book were only shining light on Alzheimer’s, it would be enough but it’s more than that. It’s the fine, fine writing, full of story and beautiful language and inventiveness and wisdom. Up against Alzheimer’s is an essential read.”
—Mitchell S. Jackson author of Survival Math

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