The Poetics and Politics of Alzheimer’s Disease Life-Writing by Martina Zimmermann, London, UK: Palgrave McMillan, 2017
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In her monograph titled The Poetics and Politics of Alzheimer’s Disease Life-Writing, Martina Zimmermann provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary analysis on illness narratives written by Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. Zimmerman uses patient and caregiver narratives already available to the public on the book market: third person caregiver narratives, first-person patient accounts, comics, memoirs, film, picture and photo books, as well as diaries in English, German, Italian, French, and Spanish. Her corpus covers the period from 1982, when the first Alzheimer’s caregiver narrative was published, to 2014. Although the scope of the book is wide, Zimmermann notes that the perspective is embedded in a Western context and excludes narratives from Eastern cultures on dementia. She grounds her work in narrative theory and divides the chapters into clear sections that focus both on gendered and sociopolitical notions of Alzheimer’s disease.
In the introductory chapter,...