There has been an explosion of aphasia-related books in recent years. These memoirs provide first-hand accounts, from people with aphasia or caregivers. We’ve rounded up a few of these books in case you’re looking to connect with another person’s story.
Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley writes about her mother’s experience with Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). PPA is a form of dementia that slowly removes a person’s ability to use words. The book covers “her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day. Kim draws a candid picture of the ways her family reacted for better and worse, and how she, her father and two siblings educated themselves, tried to let go of shame and secrecy, made mistakes, and found unexpected humor and grace in the midst of suffering.”
We’ll be reading this brand-new book soon as part of the NAA’s online book club, but get a head start with Lauren Marks’s story. “Alternating between fascination and frustration, she relearns and re-experiences many of the things we take for granted — reading a book, understanding idioms, even sharing a ‘first kiss’ — and begins to reconcile ‘The Girl I Used to Be’ with ‘The Girl I Am Now.’ Deeply personal and powerful, A Stitch of Time is an unforgettable journey of self-discovery, resilience, and hope.”
Our current book club selection. Love Stroke tells the same story from two points-of-view: Brad, the caregiver, and Kelly, a person with aphasia. Read about how a stroke changes their lives and thrusts them into new roles. “This memoir narrates the firsthand, chronological views from both the survivor and the primary caregiver, including their life before, the day everything changed, and the first two years of recovery.”
The book that kicked off the NAA’s online book club, Ellayne Ganzfried and Mona Greenfield’s book, The Word Escapes Me, pulls together the thoughts of people with aphasia, caregivers, and speech pathologists to give readers a 360 degree understanding of aphasia. “Imagine living each day trying to find the words, understand what is being said, having trouble reading and writing. Welcome to the world of aphasia.”
A professor who treated aphasia becomes a patient with aphasia in this book. The description states, “You can think, but without words. You can feel, but without words. You are aware, but without words. Now communicate that without words. Welcome to aphasia. This is the true story of a speech-language pathologist who treated people with aphasia and other neurogenic communication disorders and later became a professor who taught students about those communication problems. Then he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and, after brain surgery, was left with aphasia and other challenges. This is a first-person perspective of losing the gift of communication and regaining it.”
Do you have other favourite books to add to the list?
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