Free stuff! Free stuff! Free stuff... and a festival
Ok, here’s the bit you’ve all been waiting for — free stuff! This week, I have a giveaway for you, but before we get to that, I’ll explain why.
Some of you may be familiar with my work with Wendy Mitchell. Wendy lives with early onset dementia, and back in 2018, we wrote a memoir together called Somebody I Used To Know. This memoir gave us an insight into what it’s like to look at the world through the lens of Alzheimers, and it has been hugely helpful to many, many people. It’s admittedly, the kind of book that people are a little scared of reading, but once you turn the first page, no-one can resist Wendy’s charm and packed inside there is lots of inspirational advice on how to live a good life with dementia in tow – well, actually, how to live a good life for any of us. Wendy reminds people that all any of us have is today, this present moment.
This book was an instant Sunday Times Bestseller, it was a Radio Four Book of the week, and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. If you are interested in the process of how Wendy and I wrote the book together, you can read more in this Granta interview here.
The exciting news is that Wendy and I have a second book coming in January 2022. This very wise book, What I Wish People Knew About Dementia, draws again on Wendy’s inspirational outlook, but it reminds people that dementia doesn’t only affect memory, but the way people taste, smell, see, hear, walk, live, love. It’s a fascinating book (even if I do say so myself!) and I think anybody would find it helpful, whether you are living with dementia, caring for somebody who has dementia, or you are just curious about how we create a more inclusive society, and that begins with understanding the way other people live. Here is the cover of What I Wish People Knew About Dementia.
To celebrate this cover reveal, I am giving away THREE hardback copies of Wendy’s US version of Somebody I Used To Know. All you need to do to win one is make sure you are subscribed to my substack, follow me and retweet this post on Twitter (@whartonswords) and I’ll pick a winner in a week. UK entries only, I’m afraid.
In other dementia related news, I was delighted to be asked to appear at the Dementia Fiction Festival 2021, which is happening this week on Wednesday (15th) and Thursday (16th). I will be taking part both as a panelist and a chair, and the two-day FREE and remote event, has been put together by a team of researchers at Queen’s University Belfast. It will feature conversations, performances and presentations from writers and experts in the field. Find out more about the programme here. The event that I am chairing on Thursday morning is all about writing non-fiction accounts of dementia. The panel will feature a short presentation by Dr Lucy Burke of Manchester Metropolitan University, Irish writer Ian Maleney whose essay collection Minor Momuments (Tramp Press, 2019) explored how his grandfather’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis impacted his extended family, and Sue Leonard who has recently co-written If Memory Serves Me Well (New Island, 2021) with former actor and Riverdance manager, Ronan Smyth. It is sure to be a fascinating event, and a ‘must attend’ for any authors who are exploring dementia in their work.
The same evening I will be part of a panel chaired by Marjorie Lotfi (Open Book) alongside two poets, Sarah Hesketh and Lynda Tavakoli, and prose writer Niamh MacCabe, whose writing approaches the subject of dementia in innovative, imaginative and informative ways. In this panel I will be reading from and discussing my debut novel, The Imposter, which some of you will know features a character with dementia.
You can follow updates on Twitter (@fictiondementia) and tweet along with the festival using #DementiaFictionFest2021. Most sessions will be available to view afterwards on the Dementia Fiction You Tube channel. But, if you just can’t wait, you may like to take a look at this link. Back in February, myself and Wendy, took part in the Northern Ireland Science Festival talking about representations of dementia in fiction and non-fiction along with Jan Carson and Jane Lugea. It’s a fascinating chat that I think you’ll enjoy.
Anyway, don’t forget the giveaway! Make sure you’re subscribed to my substack to win! Here is the US cover of Somebody I Used To Know, and remember, I’ve got THREE hardback copies to give away. Good luck!
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