The Last of His Mind has been reissued, with a new introduction
“This book tells a hard story, the relentless decline of a father’s memory and self-awareness. John Thorndike writes a beautiful sentence, a beautiful page, and describes his father’s last year with piercing clarity, but also great warmth. He opens a world we will all have to face.” —Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones and Three Simple Lines
“A beautiful book, this memoir reveals the painful chaos of Alzheimer’s, as well as the strength, faith and unexpected joys that come with caring for a loved one in his last days.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The Last of His Mind has come out in a second edition from Swallow Press. This is the memoir I wrote about my father’s Alzheimer’s, first published in 2009. The book remains completely relevant today, in part because so little has changed about the disease. There is still no cure, and scant prevention. The number of Americans who live with Alzheimer's now tops six million. That number will only grow as the population gets older, and in the last 18 years there has been only one new drug approved by the FDA for dementia---aducanumab---and many scientists doubt its effectiveness.
Over the years I’ve talked with several caregivers whose experience with Alzheimer’s was so painful they didn’t want to discuss it, much less read a book on the subject. From the start, I had a different take on it. I wanted to know how others had coped with the relentless decline I was seeing with my father. Alone with him in his house, I read every memoir about Alzheimer's I could find. I depended on those books and found support in them—which is why I came to write my own.