Like Falling Through a Cloud: A Lyrical Memoir

Eugenia Zukerman. East End (IPG, dist.), $21 (192p) ISBN 978-1-73249-122-9
In her moving debut memoir, Zukerman, a flutist and former arts correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, tells of her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Writing in a mix of verse and prose, she begins with a poem as she realizes her memory is becoming increasing faulty (“Sometimes/when I wake up/it’s dark/where am I?”), then tells of meeting with her neurologist, who also diagnoses her with anxiety. Subsequent chapters examine therapist visits, ruminations about drug and clinical trials, and her mother’s death at 103. Zukerman, now in her 70s, writes of how her memory loss has affected her life with her husband, and their eventual move to upstate New York, where the disease progresses (“So this is how it begins/ The caretaking,/ the endless helping my once independent wife,” she believes her husband must be thinking). “I’ve got a shiner where my brain used to be—it’s become more and more troubling to me,” she says plaintively, easily eliciting empathy from readers. While the unorthodox narrative structure can distract at times, it doesn’t detract from the work’s power. Zukerman’s unflinching memoir in verse will most appeal to those dealing with this common yet complex illness. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/10/2019
Release date: 11/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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