Narratives Of Age-Related Dementia And Alzheimer'S Disease In Canada
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Since the 1860s, long before scientists put a name to Alzheimer's disease, Canadian authors have been writing about age-related dementia. Originally, most of these stories were elegies, designed to offer readers consolation. Over time they evolved into narratives of gothic horror in which the illness is presented not as a normal consequence of aging but as an apocalyptic transformation. Weaving together scientific, cultural, and aesthetic depictions of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, Forgotten asserts that the only crisis associated with Canada's aging population is one of misunderstanding. Revealing that turning illness into something monstrous can have dangerous consequences, Marlene Goldman seeks to identify the political and social influences that have led to the gothic disease model and its effects on society. Examining the works of authors such as Alice Munro, Michael Ignatieff, Jane Rule, and Caroline Adderson alongside news stories and medical and historical discussions of Alzheimer's disease, Goldman provides an alternative, person-centred perspective to the experiences of aging and age-related dementia. Deconstructing the myths that have transformed cognitive decline into a corrosive fantasy, Forgotten establishes the pivotal role that fictional and non-fictional narratives play in cultural interpretations of disease.