—-As her Alzheimer’s worsened, and she was forced to live less in her head, Alice learned to live more from her heart.—Lisa Genova, Still Alice
Five years ago, I read a book that turned me inside out, outside in, and had me questioning my own sanity.
I wandered around the house in a bit of a tizzy after reading the last page.
Have you ever read a book like that? If not, you’re missing out.
The story stayed with me all week. Even now, I remember the words, the confusion, the characters.
They hang on like hot hooks.
Remember me. Remember me.
I wrote to the author: “Hey, your book has caused me to lose sleep. Your story has caused me to lose pieces of my brain cells. What the hell?”
The author wrote back: “Yes, that was deliberate. I wanted the reader to experience her repetition of thought and confusion. I’m glad it worked!”
That book I’m talking about is called Still Alice.
And it blew my mind.
Imagine getting lost in your own neighborhood and not being able to find your way home.
Imagine not recognizing yourself in a mirror.
Imagine pulling underwear over your head instead of a bra.
“I can’t do this! I can’t figure out how to put on this fucking sports bra. I can’t remember how to put on a bra, John” He walked over to her and examined her head. “That’s not a bra Alice. It’s a pair of underwear.” She burst into laughter.” —Still Alice
Now, imagine this person is YOU with Alzheimer’s disease.
Lisa Genova based the story of Alice on her 85 year old grandmother who was disassembled by this epidemical disease.
But in the book, Dr. Alice Howland is only 49 years old.
It’s not impossible. We all know somebody who has been affected, right? Entire families.
After being turned down by more than 100 literary agents, Genova finally decided to self publish, even after several people warned her self publishing was the ‘kiss of death.’
And listen. I love this immensely.
“The manuscript was initially rejected by everyone, and I had to self-publish it and sell copies out of the trunk of my car for almost a year, ” Genova said.
The trunk of her car? Really? Amaaaaaaaaazing.
I contacted Genova last week (Again) to ask if I could tell this story, which is relevant & significant to all of us, not only writers.
It’s a story about receiving over 100 rejection letters, but moving forward with your vision regardless.
It’s a story about believing in yourself when others assume you will fail.
It’s a story about selling copies of your book out of the trunk of your car because the story you envisioned….
Had. To. Be. Told.
It’s a familiar story about how our vision suddenly becomes everybody’s vision.
For example, the book nobody would publish, is now selling millions of copies, a New York Times best seller, & being made into a Hollywood film w/ Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristin Stewart, & Kate Bosworth.
It’s an inspirational story about gathering with the cast at the Howland dining room table and declaring,
“”I made all of you up, and here you are!” —-Lisa Genova.
WOW! That is SO damn cool!
—Dearest, Reader, have you ever believed in something so deeply that you took a risk to accomplish it No Matter What? Tell me your story.
Check out STILL ALICE Here: http://www.amazon.com/Still-Alice-Lisa-Genova/dp/1439102813