Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A deeply affecting memoir of a father’s descent into dementia, and a revelatory inquiry into why the human brain degenerates with age and what we can do about it.
Almost six million Americans―about one in every ten over the age of sixty-five―have Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, and this number is projected to more than double by 2050. What is it like to live with and amid this increasingly prevalent condition―an affliction that some fear more than death? In My Father’s Brain, the distinguished physician and author Sandeep Jauhar sets his father’s descent into Alzheimer’s alongside his own journey toward understanding this disease and how it might best be coped with, if not cured.
In an intimate memoir rich with humor and heartbreak, Jauhar relates how his immigrant father and extended family felt, quarreled, and found their way through the dissolution of a cherished life. Along the way, he lucidly exposes what happens in the brain as we age and our memory falters, and explores everything from the history of ancient Greece to the most cutting-edge neurological―and bioethical―research. Throughout, My Father’s Brain confronts the moral and psychological concerns that arise when family members must become caregivers, when children’s and parents’ roles reverse, and when we must accept unforeseen turns in our closest relationships―and in our understanding of what it is to have a self. The result is a work of essential insight into dementia, and into how scientists, caregivers, and all of us in an aging society are reckoning with the fallout.
“With Heart: A History and other books, Sandeep Jauhar established himself as one of our most insightful, readable, and humane physician-authors. With My Father’s Brain, his work becomes still more essential. Blending the humor, compassion, and absorbing family drama of first-rate memoir with expert science writing, he has composed a can’t-miss introduction to what has been called The Age of Alzheimer’s.” ―Sanjay Gupta, author of Keep Sharp and World War C
“These pages will be a blessing to families dealing with Alzheimer’s. Jauhar’s prose is insightful, honest and moving about a condition that most of us will inevitably encounter in our lifetimes.” ―Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
“From the unflinchingly honest perspective of a compassionate doctor and loving son, My Father’s Brain offers an unprecedented portrait of the insidious ravages of dementia and the terrifying vicissitudes of chronic neurologic disease. It delivers a page-turning narrative as haunting as it is inspiring and as devastating as it is deeply moving. Essential reading for every child of a mother or father in the twilight of life.” ―Cody Keenan, former Chief Speechwriter for President Barack Obama and author of Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America