A stirring book that offers an ideal blend of direction and comfort to fellow caregivers.

READ REVIEW

MY LIFE REARRANGED

MUSINGS OF AN ALZHEIMER'S CAREGIVER

In this motivational memoir, Miller (No Man’s Land, 2003, etc.) uses poetry and advice to paint a poignant picture of her time as a caregiver to her spouse.

The author’s husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 55, and over time, her role in his life transformed from companion to caregiver to custodian. In this book, she divides this experience into three stages. The “Beginning Stage,” when Alzheimer’s is newly diagnosed, evokes a “flood of emotions,” she says, including “guilt over being short-tempered…sadness and anger about the diagnosis…jealousy toward those more fortunate, fear of the unknown, and doubt about one’s abilities.” This is the time for caregivers to “put things in order,” she asserts, and adjust to a new normal. The “Middle Stage,” she writes, is more of a “holding pattern,” as the patient’s functional abilities significantly decline and the caregiver’s burdens increase. Miller repeatedly emphasizes the need for caregivers to “take care of [their] health and sanity”—in part, by arranging for outside help. The “Final Stage” is often the longest and saddest, she notes, as caregivers prepare for the patient’s final decline: “Trying to carve out a separate life—along with the dichotomy of staying connected while letting go—is the major task for caregivers.” Miller’s artistic prose style is highly effective, and fellow caregivers will appreciate the articulate, genuine sentiments from someone who clearly understands their plight. After offering practical advice in brief chapter introductions, the author presents numerous creatively formatted, emotionally charged prose poems: “I am exhausted, alone, weary, / carrying both of us. Symbiotic victims—one excused, one invisible.” By being open about negative emotions, Miller avoids a major pitfall of many caregiving books in which the authors “must be saints or darn close,” as she puts it. But the book isn’t bleak, as the author also shares personal triumphs, such as finding peace in a support group.

A stirring book that offers an ideal blend of direction and comfort to fellow caregivers.

Pub Date: May 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9679584-0-8

Page Count: 294

Publisher: Kaleidoscope Kare

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

more